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John Ellerton. 



JOHN ELLERTON 

Being a Collection of his Writings on Hymnology 

TOGETHER WITH 

A SKETCH OF HIS LIFE AND WORKS 



HENRY HOUSMAN, B.D. 

LATE DIVINITY AND HEBREW LECTURER, CHICHESTER THEOLOGICAL 
COLLEGE ; SOMETIME CURATE OF BARNES 



its of Cawow lUtimt iutb 0%r leabhtg pignut Win 



PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE TRACT COMMITTEE 



SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE 

LONDON : NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C.; 

43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C. 

BRIGHTON: 129, NORTH STREET. 

NEW YORK: E. J. B. YOUNG & CO. 

1896. 



RICHARD CLAY & SONS, LIMITED, 
LONDON & BUNGAY. 






TO 

iiebmub Jfnmd* (ieorp (gllevton, Jft.Jt. 

RECTOR OF WARMINGHAM, CHESHIRE, 

AND HIS BROTHERS AND SISTERS, 

THESE BRIEF MEMORIALS OF ONE DEAR TO MANY, 
DEAREST OF ALL TO THEM, 

ARE AFFECTIONATELY DEDICATED. 



PREFACE 



THIS book is the development of a very limited 
design. The original intention was merely to re- 
print (at the desire of many who were interested in 
Hymnody) the papers on " Favourite Hymns and 
their Authors," which Canon Ellerton had written 
for the Parish Magazine, and which subsequently 
re-appeared in the Church Monthly, prefixing to 
them a Sketch of the Author's Life and Works. But 
it was soon perceived that his most important con- 
tributions to Hymnology, apart from his own 
hymns, were those articles which he had composed 
for the Churchman's Family Magazine, Church 
Congresses, or for special occasions, and that the 
work would be a far more valuable contribution to 
the literature of the subject if these were included. 
Then among the Canon's papers were found drafts 
of several original hymns, translations, and poems 
which could not be omitted. 

The Sketch of the Author's Life, while it still 
remains but a sketch, could not have attained to 
any degree of completeness had it not included 
much interesting matter connected with the com- 
pilation of the chief Hymnals now in use, and thus 
the work grew to its present size. 

It is obvious that these pages could never have 



viii PREFACE 

been written but for the kind co-operation of many 
with whom the Canon had been associated, both 
in friendship and in work. By far the greater 
share of the labour has fallen upon his eldest son, 
the Reverend Francis George Ellerton, who under- 
took the heavy task of examining his father's 
papers, and selecting from among them such as 
threw light upon his hymnological work. Had the 
idea of constructing a complete biography been 
entertained there would have been no lack of 
material. To him, therefore, both for his zeal in 
collecting matter for this tribute to his father's 
memory, as well as for much valuable counsel in 
the construction of the work, my gratitude must, 
in the first place, be gratefully expressed. 

To Canon Erskine Clarke, late proprietor of the 
Parish Magazine, and to Frederick Sherlock, Esq., 
proprietor of the Church Monthly, my best thanks 
are due for generously giving me permission to re- 
publish anything from Canon Ellerton's pen which 
had appeared in their periodicals, as well as to use 
the original blocks for the portraits of the hymn 
writers. 

To the Right Reverend Edward Henry Bicker- 
steth, Lord Bishop of Exeter, I am greatly in- 
debted for the loan of a correspondence between 
his lordship and the Canon on the subject of the 
Hymnal Companion to the Book of Common Prayer; 
and also to the Reverend Prebendary Godfrey 
Thring for a similar favour with regard to the 
Church of England Hymn-Book. 

Very cordially, too, must I thank Mrs. Carey 
Brock, not only for allowing me to see and make 



PREFACE ix 

use of the letters which passed between her and 
Canon Ellerton while the Children's Hymn-Book 
was in preparation, but also for allowing me to 
submit to her revision the chapter describing that 
work. 

To W. M. Moorsom, Esq., one of the Canon's 
staff of lay workers at Crewe, I owe the graphic 
picture of Mr. Ellerton's work in that place as a 
parish priest, and for permission to print the useful 
paper on the " Bondage of Creeds." 

I have also much pleasure in acknowledging the 
assistance I have received from the Venerable 
Archdeacon Thornton, the Reverend Gerald 
Blunt, and the Reverend John Julian, D.D., whose 
monumental work, the Dictionary of Hymnology, 
has been of infinite use in correcting dates and 
verifying references. 

Nor can I sufficiently express my obligations to 
the Reverend James Mearns, curate of Whitchurch, 
Reading, and assistant editor of the Dictionary of 
Hymnology, for his kindness in correcting the 
proofs of the first part of the book, and offering 
many valuable suggestions. 

My last, but by no means least, acknowledgment 
of kindly co-operation must be offered to Professor 
Henry Attwell, K.O.C., 1 one of the late Canon's 
most intimate and most valued friends. To him I 
am indebted not only for the loan of some of the 
Canon's charming letters, but also for kindly 
revising the whole of the book while passing 
through the press. 

The plan I have adopted in gathering into one 
1 Knight of the Oaken Crown of Holland. 



X PREFACE 

view each of the Hymnals treated of entailed of 
necessity some repetition, but it is hoped the 
arrangement will be found sufficiently clear and 
satisfactory. If the work should be instrumental 
in preserving some records of the life-work of one 
of the Church's sweetest poets, if it should be the 
means of making known many of his hymns which 
else might have lain unpublished and unknown, it 
will not have been written in vain. 

H. HOUSMAN. 

St. Wilfriths, Chichester, 
May 17, 1896. 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 
18261850 

fAGE 

BOYHOOD CAMBRIDGE ... ... ... ... 1 5 

THE DEATH OF BALDUR ... ... ... 25 

CHAPTER II 
1850 1872 

EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN ... 32 

THE BONDAGE OF CREEDS ... ... ... 40 

CHAPTER III 

1872 1876 
HINSTOCK ... ... ... ... ... ... 6 1 

CHAPTER IV 

18761884 

BARNES ... ... ... ... ... ... 66 

CHURCH HYMNS ... ... ... ... ... 72 

THE CHILDREN'S HYMN-BOOK ... ... ... 87 

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND HYMN-BOOK ... 92 



Xll CONTENTS 

CHAPTER V 

1884, 1885 

PAGE 

SWITZERLAND AND ITALY : 

VEYTAUX ... ... ... ... ... 99 

PEGLI ... ... ... ... ... ... 102 

AN ITALIAN POOR-HOUSE ... ... ... 109 

CHAPTER VI 
18851893 

WHITE RODING Il6 

HYMNS ANCIENT AND MODERN ... ... 130 

THE LAST HYMNS 138 

THE CLOSE ... ... ... ... ... 156 

CHAPTER VII 
CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF CANON ELLERTON*S HYMNS l6l 

CHAPTER VIII 
CONCLUSION ... ... ... ... ... 178 



PAPERS ON HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS 

I. ON SOME PECULIARITIES IN THE PAST HISTORY 

OF ENGLISH HYMNODY ... ... ... 185 

II. ON THE POSSIBILITY AND DIFFICULTIES OF 

AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 206 

III. ON THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH A HYMN- 
BOOK SHOULD BE CONSTRUCTED... ... 223 

IV. PRACTICAL HINTS TO THOSE WHO USE HYMN- 
BOOKS AT PRESENT 245 

SPEECH UNSPOKEN AT THE NOTTINGHAM CHURCH 

CONGRESS, 1871 ... ... ... ... 260 



CONTENTS xiil 

PAGE 

HYMNS AND HYMN-SINGING ... ... ... 266 

HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS ... ... ... ... 276 

AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL .., ... ... ... 284 

MODERN THEOLOGY AS SHOWN BY MODERN 

HYMNODY ... ... ... 288 



FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

JOHN COSIN AND THOMAS KEN 30! 

ISAAC WATTS AND PHILIP DODDRIDGE 309 

THE WESLEYS AND TOPLADY ... ... ... 316 

WILLIAM COWPER AND JOHN NEWTON ... ... 323 

REGINALD HEBER AND HENRY HART MILMAN ... 329 

JAMES MONTGOMERY ... ... ... ... 337 

HENRY FRANCIS LYTE 344 

HYMNS OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT. THE TRANS- 
LATORS... ... ... ... ... .., 350 

JOHN KEBLE AND JOHN HENRY NEWMAN ... 359 

EDWARD CASWALL AND FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER 366 

CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH AND HORATIUS BONAR 374 
CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT AND FRANCES RIDLEY 

HAVERGAL ... ... ... ... ... 381 

HORATIUS BONAR AND HIS HYMNS ... ... 387 

SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

SOME FAMOUS EASTER HYMNS 39! 

SOME FAMOUS ADVENT HYMNS ... ... 397 

CHILDREN'S HYMNS BY MRS. ALEXANDER ... 405 

INDEX ' 4*5 



JOHN ELLERTON 

CHAPTER I 

18261850 

BOYHOOD CAMBRIDGE 

THERE are some men the records of whose lives 
have an interest for the many, and there are others 
whose memory will only be treasured by the few. 
Every particular illustrating the career of one who 
has been a ruling power in Church or State, or a 
shining light in literature, science, or art, is justly 
regarded as among the most precious things which 
the present can inherit from the past or bequeath 
to the future. But although of less common in- 
terest, the memorials of many a life passed in 
comparative obscurity may be very precious ; and, 
within the orbit in which they are designed to 
move, be as highly prized as those of earth's great 
ones. Quiet lives may make but quiet reading, 
lacking the excitement of stirring scenes and 
startling actions ; still, there are times when it is 
a relief to turn from the study of those who lived 
in the full glare of the world's observation to the 
simple narrative of some favourite poet who sang, 



l6 JOHN ELLERTON 

so to speak, in the shade. In fact, the one is as 
necessary as the other if we are to form an ade- 
quate conception of all the minds which mould an 
age. A work on birds, to be complete, must include 
the nightingale as well as the eagle, or one on 
flowers must not, while it describes the rose, despise 
the violet. 

The present sketch and the reader is begged 
to remember that it is only a sketch, not designed 
to be a finished portrait is an attempt to record 
for the lovers of sacred song the outlines of a 
very sweet singer, one whose life was quite 
uneventful, who was heard rather than seen, but 
some of whose hymns are as immortal as those of 
St. Ambrose, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, or of 
Venantius Fortunatus. The present generation 
is rapidly giving place to a younger ; its facts 
and personalities are fast fading into memories. 
If the records of those who have adorned it by 
their lives or writings are to be preserved for those 
who shall come after us, they must be harvested at 
once before they become dimmed by distance or 
altogether lost ; and we believe that in every succeed- 
ing age there will be some who will be glad to pos- 
sess a few particulars of the life of John Ellerton, 
pronounced by Matthew Arnold no mean author- 
ity to be the " greatest of living hymnologists." 

John, the elder son of George and Jemima Frances 
Ellerton, was born in London on Saturday, Decem- 
ber 1 6, 1826, and baptized in the parish church of 
St. James, Clerkenwell, on the sixteenth of the 
following month. He came of a Yorkshire family, 
and Ellerton Priory, a small house in Swaledale, 



BOYHOOD CAMBRIDGE I? 

near Richmond, now in ruins, indicates the locality 
from whence it derived its name. Having but one 
brother, eleven years younger than himself, and no 
sisters, he was practically an only child, a fact which 
must have materially tended to foster the peculiar 
shyness and sensitiveness of his temperament. 
The memory of his parents was throughout his life 
a most precious and sacred thing. " I used to 
feel," such are his own words, " how happy my 
father and mother were, even more than how good 
they were ; and yet I knew even then, and know 
still better now, that they had many sorrows and 
anxieties. They had no personal religious doubts 
or fears ; their delight in prayer, in hymns, in the 
Bible, and occasionally in spiritual converse with 
one or two friends, was most true and deep and 
real ; there was no mistake about it. It never 
occurred to me to connect their religion, even in 
its severest denunciations and gloomiest fore- 
bodings for the world, with the faintest shadow of 
cant or unreality ; and in their family and with 
intimate friends there was plenty of merriment 
and fun. My father especially overflowed with 
humour, with quaint sayings and stories, all per- 
fectly good-humoured and kindly. Often do I 
laugh to myself, even now all alone, at some of his 
overflowings of mirth at which there are now none 
left to laugh." 

To his mother especially the shy and sensitive 
boy was indebted for the guiding of his opening 
mind into those channels of thought which it never 
afterwards forsook. She was a woman of con- 
siderable literary ability, and among the many 
\ ' n 



I 8 JOHN ELLERTON 

short stories which proceeded from her pen, How 
Little Fanny Learned to be Useful still holds its own 
as a delightful tale for children. She was left a 
widow in 1844, and she and her son lived on in the 
old house at Ulverston until he went to Cambridge. 
She then left the house for a time and went to live 
in a smaller one at Norham-on-Tweed, which also 
belonged to the family. It was here that John 
Ellerton passed all his college vacations, and from 
here one memorable summer he went with his 
mother to the Lakes, and he often used to speak 
of his delight in spending whole days in a boat on 
Windermere, devouring Wordsworth and Tennyson. 
His mother was so devoted to him that she could 
never bear to be away from him for long, and on his 
leaving Cambridge she followed him to his first 
curacy at Easebourne, and afterwards to Brighton. 
In both places she helped him much, in the schools 
at Easebourne, and in district visiting at Brighton. 
On his appointment to Crewe Green she accom- 
panied him, and shared his home there till her 
death in March 1866. 

It was in London that the early boyhood of the 
future poet was passed, and where his earliest 
religious impressions were received. How deep 
and lasting these impressions were may be gathered 
from his own " Recollections of Fifty Years Ago." * 
" On the whole," he writes, " the religious world at 
that time was rather gloomy. The great fight 
against slavery had been won, so completely won 
that some of the most earnest abolitionists began 

1 A paper contributed to the All-Saints Scarborough 
Parish Magazine. 



BOYHOOD CAMBRIDGE 19 

to think that the great Emancipation of August 
1834 had been rather an -extreme and hasty 
measure. There was no great social or theological 
battle to fight; religious people talked about 
Edward Irving and his followers, but they too had 
dropped out of notice a good deal by 1837. I 
thought of him chiefly as an open-air preacher, for 
more than once on Sunday mornings, on my way 
to St. John's, Bedford Row, with my father, had I 
had a vision of that marvellous face and form, in 
his little movable wooden pulpit, sometimes in 
pouring rain, holding an umbrella over his head 
with one hand, as he poured forth his fervid oratory 
to a scanty group of hearers outside the walls of 
the great prison. But the favourite, the inexhaust- 
ible subject of talk among serious people was 
unfulfilled prophecy. The Irvingite movement 
(as people would call it) had popularized Millen- 
arian speculations among many who resisted 
steadily all belief in the new 'Miracles' and 
' Tongues.' Names now utterly forgotten of writers 
on prophecy formed the staple reading, I am afraid, 
for a good many of the religious folk among whom 
I lived ; and their speculations turned chiefly on 
the chronology of the future in what year the 
Jews were to be restored, Popery to be destroyed, 
and the Millennium to begin. Some great event 
I believe the final overthrow of the 'ten king- 
doms ' of Europe, including England, and accom- 
panied by troubles hitherto unheard of was pre- 
dicted for 1844. Boy as I was, I entirely believed 
in this calculation, which was pictorially set forth 
in a great coloured chart ; so much so, that when 



20 JOHN ELLERTON 

1841 came I remember being quite shocked at my 
father for letting some ground to a tenant on a 
seven years' lease." 

" In those days," he continues, " I was taken 
several times to Exeter Hall to some of the great 
religious meetings, often to those of the Church 
Missionary Society, and always rejoiced when a 
' real missionary ' got up, instead of the usual 
London clergyman with his usual platform address. 
There were of course exceptions among them, 
conspicuously Hugh Stowell and Hugh McNeile. 

" The impression generally made on the mind of 
a rather precocious and sensitive boy by this 
religious atmosphere was that the world was very 
wicked, the country going from bad to worse, and 
no hope for anything but the great Revolution 
which, among untold miseries, was to usher in the 
' Day of the Lord.' And yet within the charmed 
circle of those who used to meet at my father's 
house there was much, very much of peace, bright- 
ness, and happiness such as I seldom see now." 

His parents used to take their two children, John 
and George Francis, to spend every summer with 
an uncle, Dr. John Ellerton, who owned a small 
property at Ulverston in Lancashire, which, upon 
his death in 1838, passed to his brother George, 
and the family in that year left London and settled 
in Ulverston. John, twelve years old, now 
began his school-life, for what instruction he had 
hitherto received, in addition to the inestimable 
training he had been daily experiencing at the 
hands of his Godly parents, had been in private 
academies. Now he was sent to King William's 



BOYHOOD CAMBRIDGE 21 

College, Isle of Man, where he remained till the 
death of his father in 1844. He afterwards spent 
a year at Brathay Vicarage, Ambleside, reading 
with the Rev. C. Hodgson ; from thence to Cam- 
bridge, where he matriculated at Trinity College in 
1845. The close of his boy-life was marked by 
two events : the death of his father and of his young 
brother, both in the same year, could not fail to 
have a lasting impression on the mind of one so 
sensitive as the youthful poet, and may have tended 
to give that sub-melancholy colouring to his 
character which continued through life. 

At Cambridge he came into contact with men 
of very different calibre from those of St. John's, 
Bedford Row. The conversation to which he now 
listened, or in which he bore a part, was not so 
much upon "the little horn," or "the mark of the 
beast," as upon those great questions concerning 
the Church and Society which were then engrossing 
the minds of the leaders of thought in both Uni- 
versities. Now it was that he made the acquaintance, 
amongst others, of Henry Bradshaw and Dr. Hort, 
and his lifelong friendship with these eminent 
scholars dates from this period. Now also it was that 
he came under the influence of Frederick Denison 
Maurice. In a letter written many years after- 
wards he writes, looking back on his College days, 
" I was first attracted by one or two of his pamph- 
lets ; then I fagged on at The Kingdom of Christ > 
but did not get as much out of it as I ought at the 
first time, probably because I was miserably ignor- 
ant of theology, and only had got up stock formulae 
of evangelicalism, which I had to produce in 



22 JOHN ELLERTON 

themes for a private tutor. But I think the books 
that helped me most at first were Maurice's Lord's 
Prayer^ Prayer Book, and The Church a Family'' 
He goes on to say, " after three or four of his books 
you will be accustomed to his peculiarities, the 
strange/tfj//^ of deep insight, the reverent hesitation 
and fear of misstatements which makes people call 
him hazy ; and his worst fault in the eyes of the 
common herd of readers is, that he refuses to tell 
you what your opinion is to be, but will have you 
think about a question, and generally leaves you 
with the impression that you have been talking 
nonsense very positively in all you have hitherto 
said about it." And here let me state once for all 
what I believe to have been the tone and colour of 
his Churchmanship. No one of the three great 
schools of religious conviction could claim John 
Ellerton as its partisan. He always seemed to me 
to combine in himself the distinguishing excellency 
of each the subjective piety of the Evangelical, the 
objective adoration of the High, the intellectual 
freedom of the Broad. He has told me he had 
celebrated with the Revised Liturgy of the Church 
of Scotland with no less, perhaps greater, satisfac- 
tion than with the humbler and less primitive ritual 
of the Anglican Communion. Absolute reality, 
utter sincerity, always struck me as the governing 
spirit of his devotion. No ritual was too ornate, 
provided it was real, founded on the traditions of 
Catholic antiquity, and embodied the purest princi- 
ples of worship ; but anything approaching un- 
reality, sham, show, or mediaeval sentimentalism his 
soul abhorred. It seemed as though his feelings 



BOYHOOD CAMBRIDGE 23 

on this matter were founded on such passages 
as "The Lord is Great, and cannot worthily be 
praised ; " " O worship the Lord in the beauty 
of holiness;" " Glory and honour are in His pre- 
sence : " " A son honoureth his father, and a servant 
his master : if then I be a Father where is mine 
honour ? and if I be a Master, where is my fear ? " 

The records of his college days are, at this 
distance of time, necessarily scanty and fragment- 
ary. One, however, who ,was his contemporary, 
and continued his firm friend through life, 1 in 
kindly answering my request for some information 
relating to this period, writes thus : 

" I wish I could give you any help in writing a 
sketch of our dear friend John Ellerton ; but nearly 
half a century is a long time to look back, and it 
is all that since I first knew him at Cambridge. 
What I most distinctly remember of him is the 
impression he made on us all at a small literary 
society got together chiefly by Hort and himself, 
which we called, somewhat ambitiously, The Attic 
Society. We met at each other's rooms, and read 
original papers, I think on any subject we chose 
individually. Ellerton charmed us all by his poetic 
taste, and his contributions (sometimes original, 
and sometimes translations from classic authors) 
were rendered still more striking by the fine, deep, 
emotional tone in which he read them to us. I 
think he delayed taking his degree through deli- 
cate health, which obliged him to go down for a 
year, so that his intercourse with us was somewhat 
broken. I do not think he took much interest in 
1 The Rev. Gerald Blunt, Rector of Chelsea. 



24 JOHN ELLERTON 

the ordinary out-door life of the University, but in 
all subjects of the highest kind he had a wide and 
extensive knowledge, and felt the keenest attraction. 
He was then, as ever afterwards, one of the best 
and noblest specimens of what a fine and pure 
Evangelical training can produce when it widened 
out into the more excellent way of Maurician High 
Churchism." 

While an Undergraduate at Trinity he made his 
first public essay as a poet in competing for the 
Chancellor's Medal for an English poem on The 
Death of Baldur. His effort gained the honourable 
distinction of proxime accessit ; and it displays, 
besides a considerable acquaintance with northern 
mythology, unmistakable indications of a high 
poetic gift. Unfortunately an attack of small-pox 
prevented his going in for the Honour Examination, 
and he was obliged to pass with an aegrotat degree ; 
after taking this in 1849 he spent a year in Scot- 
land engaged in tutoring and reading for Holy 
Orders. Doubtless he would gladly have passed 
this time at one of the Theological Colleges which 
had already begun to spring up in some dioceses. 
At Chichester, for example, which had been founded 
by Bishop Otter in 1839, and at this time was 
presided over by Philip Freeman, he might have 
received much useful guidance and assistance pre- 
paratory to his entering the diocese as a curate. 
For it was in Sussex that he received the title for 
his first curacy, and in the Cathedral Church of 
Chichester that he was ordained Deacon by Bishop 
Gilbert on St. Matthias' Day, February 24, 1850. 



THE DEATH OF BALDUR, 

WRITTEN FOR THE CHANCELLOR'S MEDAL, 
1848. 

KoU ff tV CKpVKTOlfft %fp<OV 

fZXe Qed. JjffjiioTt, 1 ' 

roX/acr <$', ou yap tivd&ig TTOT' tvtpQtv 

K\ai<i)v TOVQ tpQtpivovg dvw. 

Eurip. Alcest. 983. 

Thee too in her hands irrefugable 

Bonds the Power hath clutcht : 

Yet endure ; for not ever shalt thou draw thee from Below 

Upward, by weeping, the perished. 

THE PERSONS. 
Odin. 

Frigga, his Queen. 
Thor. } 

Baldur. I Children of Odin. 

Loki, the evil principle. J 

The ^Esir, or Gods, generally spoken of as sons of Odin. 
Bragi, the Bard. 
Freya, the Queen of Love. 
Niord, the Sea God. 
Hel, or Hela, the Sovereign of Niflheim the Death Kingdom, 

daughter of Loki. 
Nanna, wife of Baldur. 

Forseti, the Principle of Justice, his Son and Successor. 
Berserks, retainers of Odin. 



Asgard, the dwelling of the Gods, centre of Earth. 
Idavoll, the central spot of Asgard. 



26 JOHN ELLERTON 



THE DEATH OF BALDUR. 

LIST to a Norland lay, which many a time 
To some bluff sea-king by his Yuletide fire 
The Skalds have sung ; which liveth yet for us 
In the fair dreamland of that elder faith. 

There came a woman to the shining gates 

Of Asgard, and to golden Fensalir 

The hall of Frigga. Frigga sate alone, 

A wan sad smile upon her face, like that 

A sungleam from a clouding sky lights up 

On some dark water ; for her thoughts were far 

In deeps of time to come. But she was ware 

Of a low footfall, and downlooking then 

Slowly the pale light died from off her brow. 

She saw her kneeling at her feet a crone 

Wrinkled and cripple, and bowed down with years. 

Then asked of her the Queen of Gods and men 

" Whence comest thou ? A messenger from where 

The mighty Gods are met ? Say, knowest thou 

Their pastime there ? " Answered that beldame gray, 

" Mother and Queen of ^Esir, I am come 

From thence, in sooth, much marveling ; for all 

The Gods are gathered there, and Baldur stands 

Over against them ; stones and spears at him 

They cast, and o'er him glancing broadswords flash, 

And arrows hurtle round about his hair 

Yet lo, he standeth scatheless. I am come 

To rede thee of this marvel ; for both here 

In Asgard, and in all the girdling worlds 

Great sorrow were it, bale for evermore, 

If ill should chance to Baldur." " Fear it not," 

Quoth Frigga, "all for love and gladsome sport 

They smite him as thou seest : fear it not ; 

I tell thee nought there is in earth or heaven 

Can work him hurt ; for I have bound them all 

With a great oath." " And have then all things sworn ? " 

She askt, and Frigga answered, " Even so, 

For evil dreams had come to him, and fear 



THE DEATH OF BALDUR 2? 

Of some strange chance ; whereat I took an oath 

Of all that is in earth, and sea, and sky, 

And every world ; of water and of fire, 

Of stones, and ores in the deep hill-caves hid, 

Of tree, and beast, and bird, and creeping thing, 

Yea of all deaths all sickness, poison-drink, 

Sword-edge and spear-point ; and they sware to me 

To harm him not. One living thing alone 

Men call it mistletoe it groweth east 

Of Valhall I past by, too young methought 

To do him hurt ; I laid thereon no ban." 

She ceased ; and slowly crawled the muttering crone 

Forth from the hall ; she reached the outmost gate, 

And lo ! a change came over her ; at once 

Snake-like, she rose from out her loathly self 

And cast her weazen slough, and lifted up 

Her lean face to the sun : no woman now, 

In fulness of his wicked might he stood 

Loki the evil one, falsehearted Loki ; 

And lengthening out his thin lips to a smile, 

Past forth from Fensalir toward the East. 

Fair-faced, black-hearted, forth among the trees 

The shadow of whose tops at sunrise falls 

On Valhall gate, he passed ; thence, in his hand 

Swaying the fresh-pluckt mistletoe, he came 

O'er the broad meadow where in stormy sport 

Were gathered gleeful all the mighty Gods. 

Without the border of that ring there stood 

One with broad chest and stout limbs iron-thewed ; 

But dark and sorrowful the face he turned 

To the sweet sunlight. Gently Loki came 

Unto his side, and spake him underbreath, 

"Hodur ! alone, and still ? Thy shaft belike, 

Flies not so true ; or is it that thy love 

Runs shallower than theirs ? " He answered sad : 

" I see not him they shoot at ; I am blind, 

Nor wot I whence to take a shaft." " Take this," 

The false one cried " come, let me lay my hand 

On thine, and thou shalt bend the bow ; that all 



28 JOHN ELLERTON 

May see thou lovest Baldur." Hodur bent 
The bow, for Loki's hand was laid on his ; 
Hurtled the shaft, and Baldur with a groan 
Upleaping fell heartstricken, and the life 
Welled red from his fair breast, and on his eyes 
The dusk of death came down. 

Tearless and dumb 

The /Esir stood ; none stirred to touch the dead, 
For a great fear had fallen on them, and each 
Lookt on the other ; till when one essayed 
To speak, a wild and mingled wail from all, 
Of anguish and of wrath together, pealed 
To the clear sky. And Odin in the midst, 
Odin the Father both of Gods and men 
Lookt on his son, and lifted up his voice 
And wept aloud. Through worlds on worlds it sped 
That bitter cry ; and all their dwellers heard, 
And every heart beat thick, and every face 
Grew pale, and all men shouted, " Woe to us, 
For some great scathe hath chanced ! " But evil things 
Were glad ; away along the broad sea rolled 
The noise of weeping, and with stormy joy 
Writhed the Great Worldsnake in its green depths coiled; 
The fettered wolf leapt up ; and down afar 
Wan Hela laught, and knew a nobler guest 
Hied him to wassail in her dreary hall. 

A voice of wail in Asgard ! And it came 

Into the ears of Frigga, where she sat, 

And woke her, as the stormburst waketh up 

A sleeper by the shore. She knew the time, 

The evil time, was come ; uprising slow 

She came where Odin yet and all the Gods 

Were gathered weeping round about the dead. 

Tearful she stood, and spake, " Who is there here 

Among the ysir that would win himself 

Goodwill and love from Frigga ? Let him go 

Down to the gates of Hel, and speak for us, 

And bid a ransom, that we may have back 

The Bright One home to Asgard." Then stept forth 



THE DEATH OF BALDUR 29 

Hermodur, Odin's page, the fleet of foot, 

And kneeling took her errand on himself. 

So led they thither Sleipnir, the great horse 

Whom Odin rideth mortal hoof is none 

May tramp like that gray steed's and to the selle 

Clomb brisk Hermodur, and fared down the dale 

Where Hel's road lieth. 

Then beside the shore 

Bare they the dead, to where his long black ship 
Lay, keel in sand. And sorrowful there came 
The dwellers in all worlds : came Odin first, 
With his twin Ravens, and those Maidens stern 
The Choosers of the Slain whose stormy joy 
Is from the stun of foughten fields to fetch 
Brave souls to Valhall ; Frigga by his side 
Came, and the Queen of Love, whose fire-eyed cats 
Bare her fleet car ; came the grim War-god Tyr, 
And mighty Freyr in his boar-chariot ; came 
Bragi the Wise, and holy Forseti, 
Gerda, and Fulla with the long fair locks, 
And Niord, the stout old Sea-king ; and the bright 
Heimdall, Heaven's warder, who all noise of life 
Hears, and his keen eyes look into all worlds. 
From their drear kingdom Giants of the Rime 
And dark Hill-ogres came ; came sunny Elves 
Of light, and blear-eyed Dwarves, that with lean limbs 
Crouch night and day among red heaps of ore 
In the deep bosom of the trackless fells ; 
And doughty Berserks, biters of the shield 
In their strong madness, when the fight is high. 
The pile was builded now ; and with the rest 
Wan-faced and nigh to swooning, Nanna stood, 
Nanna, dead Baldur's wife ; and round her all 
Her sisters thronged with broken words of cheer, 
And eyes of pity. Dumbly she the while 
Beheld until they bore him to the place 
Of burning ; then her full heart burst, and with 
A shriek that shivered in their blood, she fell 
Dead on dead Baldur. 



3O JOHN ELLERTON 

Side by side they laid 

Those two upon the wood, and Baldur's horse 
With all his gear they bound unto the pile. 
Then Thor stood up, and lifted his strong hand, 
And that Great Hammer with its lightning stroke 
Crashed on the wood. 

A pillar of tall smoke ! 

And redder now and now a blaze, whose gleam 
Flashed fitful on their sleeping foreheads calm ! 
Seaward the slow tide ebbing drifted now 
The bark, and freshly blew the sunset breeze 
From off the shore, as each broad-bosomed wave 
Lifted the black hull toward the harbour mouth 
And caught the flush of fire. And darkness crept 
Over the great deep like a shroud, till all 
The host of faces on the peopled shore 
Shone in the firelight, and its ruddier glow 
Blurred the white stars from out the glooming heaven. 

And bravely sped gray Sleipnir ; for he leapt 

Over the gates of Hel, and in her hall 

Hermodur stood, and all unflinching there 

Looked on her deathly face, and bade her ask 

A ransom. " Do the ALsir wail their dead ? " 

Quoth Loki's daughter ; " Nay, let all things weep 

In every world, and I will send him back." 

" Let all things weep for Baldur " : Odin gave 

The word, and all around, from Idavoll 

To the drear Icefells, pealed the bitter cry. 

" Let all things weep for Baldur " : and behold 

From all the corners of the peopled earth 

Tears and great wailing like a cloud uprose. 

Onward from land to land the Berserks sped 

With Odin's bidding, and from land to land 

The noise of weeping followed after them ; 

But lo ! they found within a black hill-cleft 

With tearless eyes, unmerciful, a crone 

Wrinkled and cripple, and bowed down with years. 



THE DEATH OF BALDUR 3 1 

Fiercely she laughed and gave them back the word, 
" Dry are the tears I weep for Frigga's son ; 
Hel hold her own ! " Ah, well, I ween, they wist 
Falsehearted Loki so had answered them ! 
Slowly, their bootless errand sped, they came 
Back once again to Asgard ; wrathful words 
And stormy cries their meed. But Frigga shewed 
Her wan face in the midst, and bidding " Peace," 
Slowly with calm lips spake the hidden weird 

" Weep on, for we have lost him ; nevermore 
The sunshine of his smile shall lighten up 
Asgard for us. But unto us, not him, 
The hurt is. Not for ever must we dwell 
In this our kingdom, but the Sons of Fire 
Must q,uell us, and the Evil Ones be strong, 
Till we and they have fallen. Then once again, 
Scathless and bright, shall Baldur fare from Hel, . 
And here for ever under a clear sky 
Talk of old tales, and all these baleful times, 
As of a troublous dream long past away." 

" A s then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that 
was born after the Spirit, even so it is now" 



CHAPTER II 

18501872 

EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 

MR. ELLERTON's ministerial life began in the 
little village of Easebourne, now a suburb of Mid- 
hurst in Sussex, best known from the stately wreck 
of Cowdray House which stands in the parish, and 
from the oaks of immeasurable age, the wonder of 
visitors from all parts of the world, which still sur- 
vive in the park. In this quiet and beautiful spot 
he spent three happy years with his mother, com- 
bining faithful parochial work with diligent study. 
Here he surrounded himself with his favourite 
authors, Plato, Clough, Kingsley, and above all, 
Maurice. Maurice's influence was, as we have 
already seen, a powerful factor in the education 
and development of his mind ; and if, on the one 
hand, it convinced him of the unsatisfactory char- 
acter of the " Evangelical " school, on the other it 
acted as a caution against the extremes of the 
opposite party. Perhaps at this period, and in the 
fervour of his admiration of Maurice, he may have 
felt strong inclination towards the school so ably 
championed by Arnold, Stanley, Kingsley, and 
Maurice ; but later on, as we have seen, he was 
32 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 33 

content to take the middle current of Churchman- 
ship of which Samuel Wilberforce, Richard Chenevix 
Trench, and Edward Meyrick Goulburn were 
among the great leaders. At this time, too, the 
condition of the poor and the education of the 
labouring classes greatly occupied his thoughts, 
and though with the co-operation of his mother 
he started a night-school at Easebourne, it was not 
until he became a vicar, and could work with un- 
fettered hands, that he was able to put his long 
cherished ideas into execution. 

On Trinity Sunday, 1851, John Ellerton was 
ordained priest in Chichester Cathedral by Bishop 
Gilbert, and two years afterwards was promoted, 
upon the recommendation of his bishop and Arch- 
deacon Julius Hare, to the senior curacy of St. 
Nicholas, then the parish church of Brighton, 
receiving at the same time the appointment of 
Evening Lecturer at St. Peter's, now the parish 
church. For St. Nicholas he always retained a 
strong affection, and left his mark upon it, for it 
was at his suggestion, made at a later time, that 
the scheme of the windows all round the church, 
with their couplets from Latin hymns, was carried 
out. For the children of this parish his earliest 
hymns were composed ; while so lately as 1882 he 
wrote the fine hymn, " Praise our God for all the 
wonders," for the Dedication Festival of the church. 
When a Mission in which he took part was held 
in Brighton in 1890, it was touching to see how 
the poor old people flocked to see and hear him 
once more : they had not forgotten him, though 
it must have been nearly thirty years since he had 

C 



34 JOHN ELLERTON 

left the parish ; a striking proof of how he had 
won their hearts when ministering among them. 
His vicar, the Rev. H. M. Wagner, was a notable 
man in his way, but is remembered not so much 
for his unceasing labours for the good of the vast 
population of Brighton, as for his unhappy con- 
troversy with Frederick Robertson, incumbent of 
Trinity Chapel. As was natural, and in accordance 
with the loyalty of his nature, the young curate of 
St. Nicholas tried to regard his vicar's conduct in 
the matter in as favourable a light as possible, and 
in after years maintained that Mr. Wagner's line 
of action was not unkind, but misunderstood by 
Robertson, owing to the over-excitement of his 
brain. 

It was while curate of Brighton that John Eller- 
ton began to try his wings as an author. His first 
flights, though short, were successful. In conjunc- 
tion with the Rev. George Wagner, nephew of the 
vicar, and incumbent of St. Stephen's Church, he 
drew up a little manual of Prayers for School- 
masters and Teachers. Now too it was that he 
made his first essay as a writer of hymns. For 
the Brighton National School he compiled a small 
hymnal entitled, Hymns for Schools and Bible 
Classes, which, besides containing four translations 
by Dr, Hort, introduced four original compositions 
of his own. These were 

1. "Day by day we magnify Thee." 1855. A 
morning hymn for school children. 

2. "The hours of school are over." 1 1858. 
Companion to the foregoing ; for evening. 

1 Children's Hymn-book, 580, "The hours of day are over/' 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 35 

3. "Now returns the awful morning." 1 Re-written 
1858. For Good Friday. Founded on a hymn by 
Joseph Anstice. Largely altered for Church Hymns, 
1870. 

4. " God of the living, in Whose eyes." 1859. 
Re-written and considerably enlarged and improved 
in Hymns Original and Translated, where it is 
dated July 6, 1867. This is one of the hymns 
sung at his funeral. 

Although these early hymns can hardly be ex- 
pected to attain to the high standard of those of 
later years, they are not deficient in those charac- 
teristics which distinguish the author's noblest 
compositions. They are not, what so many of our 
mis-called hymns are, merely prayers put into 
metrical form ; they breathe the same devout spirit 
of thanksgiving, hope, and love, are conspicuous 
for the same absence of self-consciousness which 
we observe in his best ; and especially is it to be 
noted that, with exception of the one for Good 
Friday, they are addressed not to the Second 
Person of the Holy Trinity, but to the First. 
Bishop Christopher Wordsworth's canon that " the 
songs of the Church ought to be addressed to the 
Lord" enforced, strangely enough, by a text which 
tells strongly against his own dictum, he always 
dissented from emphatically " Whatsoever ye do, 
in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Lord 
Jesus, giving thanks to GOD AND THE FATHER by 
Him." Miscellanies, ii. 236. 

Mr. Ellerton held the senior curacy of Brighton, 
together with his Evening Lectureship at St. 
1 Church Hymns, 120. 



36 JOHN ELLERTON 

Peter's, till 1860, when he was presented by Lord 
Crewe to the Vicarage of Crewe Green, Cheshire ; 
and on May iQth in the same year he was married 
at St. Nicholas to Charlotte Alicia, daughter of 
William Hart, Esq., of Brighton. 1 

About a mile from the busy station of Crewe, 
famous for its extensive iron and steel works in 
connection with the London and North- Western 
Railway, is the village of Crewe Green. Its popu- 
lation of between four and five hundred consists 
partly of mechanics employed in the Company's 
works, and partly of farmers and labourers working 
for the most part on the estate of Lord Crewe, 
whose fine mansion, Crewe Hall, stands in the parish. 

In 1859 his lordship erected on the Green a 
church and school-house for the benefit of his 
numerous tenants and fellow parishioners. The 
church, dedicated to St. Michael and All Angels, 
is remarkable in its way as being one of the very 
few brick churches, if not the only one, built by 
Sir Gilbert Scott. Externally red brick is used, 
and internally that of a lightish yellow; and the 
building, which is adorned with a small spire, con- 
sists of nave, chancel, and apse. Over against the 
church, on the opposite side of the Green, stands 
the parsonage, at that time a low, rambling house 
of whitewashed brick, since replaced by a structure 
more in accordance with modern ideas. 

The parish, combining many attractions, together 

with difficulties peculiar to itself, difficulties arising 

from the necessity of ministering at once to a 

population of rustics and intelligent mechanics, 

1 She died March 18, 1896. 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 37 

offered a congenial field of work to the new vicar, 
who, on accepting the charge, had also been ap- 
pointed domestic chaplain to Lord Crewe. The 
charm of his preaching soon began to attract, and 
many, including University men, and pupils in the 
Railway works, came to spend their Sundays at 
Crewe Green, frequently being the guests for the 
day at the hospitable vicarage. 

In addition to the usual routine of Church work, 
Mr. Ellerton threw himself with all his accustomed 
earnestness into every scheme calculated to raise 
the moral and social tone of the artisans of the 
Railway works. The following communication, for 
which I am indebted to W. M. Moorsom, Esq., at 
that time one of the chief officials in the Crewe 
works, gives some idea of his great activity, an 
activity all the more remarkable, because naturally 
his was rather the meditative, poetic temperament, 
than that of the energetic man of business. 

Mr. Moorsom writes as follows " In 1864 Mr. 
Ellerton, then Vicar of Crewe Green, and chaplain 
to Lord Crewe, was nominated by the Directors 
of the London and North-Western Railway Com- 
pany for election upon the council of the Company's 
Mechanics' Institution at Crewe. His election 
followed, and within a short time he became ~ 
Chairman of the Educational Committee. 

" During his connection with the Institution, 
which lasted until 1872, when he became rector 
of Hinstock, the Educational Department was 
entirely re-organized under his auspices, the 
library re-arranged, and a new catalogue pre- 
pared. Into this work he threw a large amount 



38 JOHN ELLERTON 

of zeal and energy, and it was in great measure 
due to his tact and power of winning the confi- 
dence of those with whom he worked that during 
this period the Institution became, with one excep- 
tion, the largest in the northern counties, and 
probably the most successful, educationally, in 
England. 

" But his labours were not confined to adminis- 
tration. During several years he conducted the 
class in English History, and for a short time the 
Scripture History class also, with a widening of 
the interest of the members of these classes which 
was very marked and most encouraging to those 
(thirty years ago a mere handful) who regarded 
the ' education of our masters' as a requirement 
vital to the nation. 

" The unwearied patience with which night after 
night he would trudge into dirty, black, smoky 
Crewe, bringing with him an air of wide-reaching 
interests and warm sympathy for the toiling masses, 
made a deep impression ; and he gradually won 
his way into the hearts of large numbers of the 
artisans, to whom such a character was somewhat 
novel. The writer has frequently heard expressions 
of wonder from onlookers, themselves artisans 
' What it could be that led Mr. Ellerton to take so 
much trouble to teach the lads from whom he had- 
nothing to expect in return, and who were not 
worth the expenditure of time so valuable in other 
directions as his was known to be.' Among those 
mechanics who were themselves inspired by the 
same zeal, this self-devotion caused him to be 
greatly loved and honoured with a love and honour 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 39 

which deepened and extended as the years went 
on. There were but few capable of appropriating 
the ideas he set before them on history, poetry, or 
Scripture exegesis, but all could see that he was 
working without thought of reward, and many 
were fascinated by the beauty of such an example 
of self-devotion. 

"During these years numerous were the dis- 
agreements which arose among the Council, leading 
to disputes, to compose which needed a weighty 
and judicious leader, in which capacity Mr. Ellerton 
was pre-eminent. He possessed the faculty of 
never perceiving a rudeness directed against him- 
self; and after an acrimonious wrangle, in which 
nearly every one present had been either insulted 
or the insulter, or both, a few quiet words from 
him would calm the tempest, and lead the Council 
back to business." 

But if it is the duty of the parish priest to 
take the lead in all matters concerning the welfare 
spiritual, intellectual, and temporal of his flock, it 
is no less his duty to " banish and drive away all 
erroneous and strange doctrines contrary to God's 
word." How ably Mr. Ellerton kept this portion 
of his ordination vow, and defended the faith 
against the teaching of a strange preacher who 
came to Crewe to exhort his hearers to free them- 
selves from " the bondage of creeds," the following 
paper will show. It is as remarkable for the 
courtesy with which he treats his opponent as for 
the firmness and dignity with which he holds his 
own position, or rather that of the Church he 
represented. 



40 JOHN ELLERTON 



THE BONDAGE OF CREEDS 

THOUGHTS ON MR. G 'S ADDRESS TO THE 

INHABITANTS OF CREWE. 

" I HAVE been asked by a friend to say what I 
think about an address recently printed by the 

Rev. Mr. G , explanatory of his own religious 

position, and offering its advantages to others. 

Mr. G does not profess to address himself to 

those belonging to other Churches ; and therefore 
it may seem unfair, or at least needless, for the 
minister of another Church to notice his address. 
My plea for doing so is that it has been widely 
circulated and much talked about in this neigh- 
bourhood, and that it touches upon certain im- 
portant questions which it is quite possible to 
discuss, apart from those which definitely denote 
his religious position. I have neither the right nor 
the wish to criticize his specific teaching. I trust 
that he may be privileged to open to the love of 
God many a heart now closed against its influences ; 
and to witness to the Divine Fatherhood in the 
consciences of many who have never yet realized 
that first and deepest of all truths. With regard 
to other, and, as I hold, co-ordinate truths, we 
must be content to part company until the time 
when all shall be made clear. 

" I am only concerned with the language which 

Mr. G holds on the subject of Creeds. ' We 

are not bound together by a Creed ; ' ' Christianity 
does not depend on a Creed ; ' ' The followers of 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 4! 

Jesus are not to be known by their belief in a 
Creed.' Now this word Creed is a hard, ugly- 
sounding word, and carries with it a kind of savour 
of * damnatory clauses ' and trials for heresy. It is 
very easy by thus reiterating it to make it appear 
important and terrible. Yet after all it is a very 
simple matter. A Creed means nothing more than 
a form of words in which people express their 

religious belief. It is odd that Mr. G does 

not see that he himself cannot advance one step in 
explaining himself to the world without a Creed. 
In his very first sentence he says, * I desire for 
myself, and for the congregation I represent, to 
place before you a statement of the views we hold! 
Exactly so ; this statement of the views he and 
his congregation hold is precisely what we mean 
by a Creed. We could not have desired a better 
definition of the word. In my congregation the 
Apostles' Creed and the Nicene Creed are 'state- 
ments of the views we hold.' But Mr. G goes 

on to give us his Creed ' We are, in religious be- 
lief, Unitarians.' Observe, he does not say, * I am,' 
but ' We are' that is, himself and his congregation. 
' We accept Christ as our Divine Teacher, the sent 
of God.' These are the two articles of their Creed. 

" But Mr. G continues, ' We are not bound 

together by a creed.' Now this must mean one of 
two things; either that the pastor is not bound to 
keep to the views in this ' statement,' or that the 
members of his congregation are not bound to 
hold them. As to the first, it seems strange to put 
forth a statement of views with one breath, and 
with the next to say, I don't pledge myself to 



42 JOHN ELLERTON 

these. However, as a believer in the Catholic 
faith, I should rejoice to think Mr. G - did not 
feel himself bound by this statement. Only I 
cannot be blind to the fact that the Unitarian 
community is an organized body, with recognized 
leaders, and a central congress or conference ; and 
I question whether our friend would be able to 
retain his present position were he to see reason to 
modify the views he here states to us. In fact, I 
doubt whether he is in reality less bound by his 
creed than I am by mine. Were he to cease to be 
an Unitarian, he would have to seek some other 
sphere of labour ; so should I, were I to cease to 
be ' Catholic,' in the sense in which the Athanasian 
Creed uses the word. 

" But what Mr. G - doubtless means is, that 
his Creed does not bind his congregation ; that a 
man may attend his church regularly without be- 
lieving as he does ; and since of course this is no 
more than any one of us may say, he intends, I 
suppose, to intimate that the full privileges of 
Church membership, and sacramental communion, 
are open in his Church to all, whatever their belief. 
Although, if this be the case, it is not easy to 
specify what that body is of which Mr. G - says 
1 We are in religious belief Unitarians ; ' yet the 

general tenor of Mr. G 's address makes it 

clear that this is his great point This then is the 
real question between us, the only question which 
has induced me to take up my pen : is it unfair 
to require the assent of a religious society to a 
Creed ? Are Creeds contrary to the spirit of Christ's 
teaching ? Are they an unreasonable bondage, a 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 43 

hindrance to free thought ? I say speaking for 
myself and for my own Church distinctly No to 
all these questions. 

" i. Creeds, /.. public confessions of belief, or 
' statements of views,' are not in themselves an 
unreasonable bondage, or a hindrance to free 
thought. Of course they may be made so. Many 
religious communities are over-burdened with tests 
of membership. Of course, too, it is possible to 
conceive of * statements of views ' to which none 
but a few fanatics could assent. But supposing 
the views to be not unreasonable in themselves, 
and supposing them to be entertained by the 
Church or community at its first constitution, the 
custom of reciting the statement of them in public 
implies no unfairness towards new members. Each 
one who joins the Church hears his neighbours say, 
* I believe ' so and so. If he feels he can unite in 
this, surely it is well for him to be invited to say 
what he has been brought to believe. But if he 
cannot, what then ? He is not obliged to retire, he 
is not constrained to remain. He may listen to 
the public ministry, he is at full liberty to think 
and say what he pleases about it, to speak his 
mind freely, so long as he does not interrupt the 
common worship. Take the Church of England 
and its Creeds. The shortest and simplest of them 
is put in the form of questions to candidates for 
baptism, and to the Church members who bring 
their infants for that purpose. But as baptism can 
scarcely have any meaning at all for persons who 
do not believe in the alleged facts contained in the 
Apostles' Creed, its use at such a time is designed 



44 JOHN ELLERTON 

as an indication that baptism is sought in an in- 
telligent and reasonable spirit. Beyond this no 
further test is imposed upon lay members of the 
Church of England. The only grounds upon which 
our Prayer-book allows a priest to refuse the other 
sacrament to members of the Church are 'open 
and notorious ' immorality, and open, wilful enmity 
towards a neighbour. The ministry themselves, it 
is true, are bound by other tests of belief ; but so 
are the ministers of every community, including, I 

suspect, Mr. G 's own. And as to freedom of 

thought, if that does not exist in the Church of 
England, the world must be greatly mistaken. 
Why, it is the constant reproach of all the 
bigots around us, Romanist and Protestant alike, 
that we are so provokingly lax, that we will 
persist in tolerating, with shameless impartiality, 
Ritualist, Rationalist, Calvinist, thinkers who in 
no other Church on earth could find a common 
home. 

"2. Again, a Creed is not contrary to the spirit 
of Christianity. Mr. G - prints in capital letters 
the assertion that Christianity does not depend 
on a Creed. If by Christianity he means, what is 
usually meant by the term, the body of thoughts 
which Christ and His followers introduced among 
mankind, all I can reply is that a Creed is the 
expression more or less imperfect, of course of 
that body of thought. The Christianity of each 
man, in this sense, depends upon how much of this 
thought he has really and practically taken in, and 
made his own. The Creed he adopts is simply an 
idea of this of his level of Christian thought. It 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 45 

is surely absurd to maintain that it is contrary to 
Christianity for a man to say what Christianity 
appears to him to be ; or for a body of men to 
agree, so to say. 

" But if Christianity means a life ' made beautiful 
by Christian virtues,' then while it is plain that 
there is no necessary connection between the 
practice of virtue and the expression of belief, yet, 
on the other hand, there is no opposition between 
the two. The Sermon on the Mount contains, it 
is true, no Creed ; but does it imply none ? And 
why stop at the beginning of Christ's ministry ? 
Did He not compel the Apostles to confess what 
they thought of Him ? And when His life on 
earth was at an end, and those events which are 
enumerated in what is called the Apostles' Creed 
had taken place, did any of them ever preach a 
sermon without making a statement of what they 
believed respecting these events ? 

" Most cordially do I join Mr. G in proclaim- 
ing 'the right of every man to think for himself;' 
only I would rather call it the duty. God forbid 
that I should dictate to any man what he is to be- 
lieve, if that dictating implies that he is to believe it 
because I tell him so. The first Christian teachers 
declared that by manifestation of the truth they 
commended themselves to every man's conscience. 
I desire no more. But if it be truth indeed that 
a man receives in his conscience, that truth will 
make him free. To acknowledge it may be a bond 
of unity, it can never be a bondage to him. Even 

Mr. G 's two articles of religion separate him 

from some of his fellowmen. But would he love 



46 JOHN ELLERTON 

his neighbour the better if he did not in any way 
define his belief? I think not. Even to say, 
' God is your Father, Christ is sent from God/ 
is better than to say, My friends, I am sure of 
nothing ; I have nothing to tell you from God. 

"JOHN ELLERTON." 

It is not, however, with John Ellerton as a parish 
priest but as a poet that we have mainly to do in 
this short sketch of his life. It was at Crewe Green 
that the foundation of his fame as a writer of hymns 
was laid ; not that he had not exercised his wonder- 
ful poetical talent prior to his removal into Cheshire, 
for, as we have seen, he had already published a few 
while curate of Brighton. The first in order of time 
belonging to this period seems to be, " Sing Alleluia 
forth in duteous praise," 1865, or "The Endless 
Alleluia," first published in the Churchman's Family 
Magazine for April 1865, and revised for the Ap- 
pendix to Hymns A ncient and Modern in 1868. The 
original Latin is in the Mozarabic Breviary, and 
was used also in the Church of England before the 
Norman Conquest. The epithet endless is thus 
explained by the translator " Alleluia was discon- 
tinued from Septuagesima (or from Lent) to Easter, 
hence the contrast here between the interrupted 
Alleluias of earth and the endless (perenne= 
continuous) Alleluia of heaven." x As it appeared 
in the Appendix, the first verse ran 

" Sing Alleluia forth in duteous praise, 
O citizens of heaven ; and sweetly raise 

An endless Alleluia," 

1 Notes and Illustrations to Church Hymns , No. 497. 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 47 
This was altered by the Appendix Committee to 

" Sing Alleluia forth in duteous praise, 
Ye citizens of heaven ; O sweetly raise 

An endless Alleluia.' 

In his letter suggesting the alterations Sir Henry 
Baker writes, " I have little doubt of our idea of the 
hymn being right. It ought to be sung just before 
Lent (Septuagesima), as the Church on earth leaves 
off for a time Alleluia. Ye citizens of heaven (she 
exclaims), sing the unceasing Alleluia ; ye who 
stand near the Eternal Light, go on singing still 
henceforth hinc onwards from this time, though 
we on earth cease awhile the endless, never-ceasing 
Alleluia. The 'Holy City' below will take up 
your strain again (i.e. at Easter), and sing the 
endless Alleluia again with you. The rest of the 
hymn is the Church delighting (as so many hymns 
at that season do) in the praise of and thought of 
the Alleluia which never ceases above." 

" Saviour, again to Thy dear Name we raise." 
This, 'one of the author's sweetest and most favourite 
hymns, was originally written in 1866 for a Festival 
of Parochial Choirs at Nantwich ; he revised and 
abridged it for the Appendix to Hymns Ancient 
and Modern in 1868. Both forms are given in 
Hymns Original and Translated. By its condensa- 
tion into four verses its spirit and power are wonder- 
fully increased, and now it ranks with Bishop Ken's 
" Glory to Thee, my God, this night," Keble's " Sun 
of my soul, Thou Saviour dear," and Lyte's " Abide 
with me ; fast falls the eventide," as one of the 
great evening hymns of the English Church. 



48 JOHN ELLERTON 

Beautiful as is Dr. Dyke's melody " Pax Dei " 
in Hymns Ancient and Modern, Mr. Ellerton once 
told me he himself preferred the less known tune in 
A flat for unison singing, with its varied harmonies, 
by Dr. Edward J. Hopkins, Organist of the Temple 
Church. The last verse formed the third hymn at 
his funeral. 

Three very beautiful hymns were written in 
1867 

1. "Father, in Thy glorious dwelling," not in- 
cluded, strange to say, either in Church Hymns or 
Hymns A ncient and Modern. 

2. " This is the day of light," which first appeared 
in the Selection of Hymns Compiled for use in Chester 
Cathedral, 1868. 

3. " Our day of praise is done," written for a 
Choral Festival at Nantwich, and recast in 1 869 for 
the Supplemental Hymn and Tune-Book, by the Rev. 
R. Brown-Borthwick. 1 

It was a saying of John Wesley's, that the 
appearance of a new first-class hymn was as rare as 
that of a comet ; but now the production one after 
another of hymns of the highest excellence began 
to attract the attention of lovers of sacred song ; the 
reproach implied in Wesley's words was taken 
away, and the Vicar of Crewe Green was soon 
recognized as standing in the very front rank of 
Church poets, not only as an original writer but also 
as a translator. In 1868 four translations were 
made 

i. " On this the day when days began," from 
Primo dierum omnium, one of the eight hymns 
1 Notes and Illustrations, No. 42. 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 49 

which the Benedictine editors assign to St. Gregory 
the Great l (540 604). It had been translated by 
Dr. Neale, Sir Henry W. Baker (Hymns Ancient 
and Modeni], J. Keble, and several others. 

2. " Jesu most pitiful." Jesu dulcissime ; a very 
beautiful, albeit late Latin hymn, probably not 
earlier than 1650. This translation first appears 
together with so many of the following in the Rev. 
R. Brown-Borthwick's Sixteen Hymns, 1870. 

3. " Welcome, happy morning ! age to age 
shall say." 1868. Writing to his friend, the 
Rev. Godfrey Thring, about Salve Festa Dies, the 
original of this hymn, Mr. Ellerton says, " I am 
rather proud of my little translation of it, be- 
cause it has a swing about it, I think, and goes well 
to Brown-Borthwick's tune, 2 not so stiffly as many 
translations ; and yet I hope it is fairly accurate. 

" There is an Ascension-day Salve Festa, as also 
one for Corpus Christi, one for Pentecost, and one 
for the Dedication of a Church ; but these are all 
imitations of the original hymn, and all from the 
York Processional. The hymn itself is an extract 
from the seventh poem of the Third Book of 
Venantius Fortunatus; its title is 'De Resurrectione 
Domini. Ad Felicem Episcopum.' It contains one 
hundred and twelve lines of elegiac verse. Different 
centos were used in different books, i. e. some verses 
were in the York book which were not in the Sarum, 
etc. The verses I have translated are the chief part 
of those given in Daniel, from two or three books 
put together. Fortunatus was born about 530, and 

1 Julian's Dictionary of Hynmology. 

2 The second to which it is set in Church Hymns* 

D 



50 JOHN ELLERTON 

died Bishop of Poictiers about 609. There is con- 
siderable interest connected with this hymn from its 
widespread use. It was early translated into 
German by an English monk of Sarum, 1 and was 
sung by Jerome of Prague at the stake. In 
Latimer's sixth Sermon before Edward VI. he 
says, ' They (the Puritans) must sing Salve festa 
dies about the Church, that no man was the better 
for it, but to shew their gay coats and garments.' 
But most interesting of all is a letter from Cranmer 
to Henry VIII. from Beakesbourne, October 7, 
1544, about publishing an English Processional, 
some translated, some original, by Royal authority. 
In this letter he speaks of Salve festa dies as one 
to be included, and says, ' As concerning the Salve 
festa dies, the Latin note, as I think, is sober and 
distinct enough ; wherefore I have travailed to 
make the verses in English, and have put the Latin 
note unto the same. Nevertheless, they that be 
cunning in singing can make a much more solemn 
note thereto. I made them only for a proof, to see 
how English would do in song/ I wish we had 
Cranmer's version, as a curiosity, for it would 
probably be unsingable ; but it would appear from 
this letter that this was the first Church hymn ever 
translated from Latin directly into English. 
Coverdale had previously translated from the 
German several of -Luther's spiritual songs, some 
of which were free versions of Latin hymns." In a 

1 Mr. Mearns tells me this is an error. The monk was a 
Benedictine called Johannes of Salzburg. His translation 
was made in 1366 at the request of the Archbishop of 
Salzburg. 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 51 

postscript he x adds, " The ' Latin note ' to which 
Cranmer refers has been reprinted by Neale and 
Helm ore in Accompanying Harmonies to the 
Hymnal Noted, 1852, No. 79, p. 249. The music 
is from the Sarum and York processionals." 

4. " Jesu, Who alone defendest." Jesu Defensor 
omnium, a midnight hymn in the Mozarabic 
Breviary. 1 

The fine Processional for the Restoration of a 
Church 

5. "Lift the strain of high thanksgiving," was 
written in 1869 at the request of the late Canon 
Cooper for the re-opening of St. Helen's Church, 
Tarporley, Cheshire. 

It seems to be in the very nature of the poetic 
faculty, whatever particular form that faculty may 
assume, to have, like an intermittent spring, its 
seasons of comparative rest varied by bursts of 
irresistible activity. Such must have been the 
experience of Handel when, after composing the 
Messiah in three weeks, he at once followed it up 
with Samson, and if we knew more than we do 
of Shakespeare, no doubt we should find that he 
too had his seasons of special inspiration. The 
years 1870 and 1871 were a period of marvellous 
poetic activity with Mr. Ellerton, for in these two 
years he produced no fewer than twenty-six hymns 

1 The Mozarabic (or Muzarabic) is the old national Liturgy 
of Spain, and though now almost wholly supplanted by the 
Roman, which was forced upon the Spanish Church in the 
tenth and eleventh centuries, is said to be still used in two or 
three Churches in Toledo, and one in Salamanca. See 
Hammond's Liturgies Eastern and Western. 



52 JOHN ELLERTON 

and translations, all good, many of the very highest 
excellence. In 1870 we find the following ten to 
have been composed 

1. " O shining city of our God," founded on 
i John iii. 2, " It doth not yet appear what we shall 
be." It first appears in Rev. R. Brown-Borthwick's 
Sixteen Hymns, and was the fifth of the six hymns 
sung at the author's funeral. 

2. The above hymn was written January 2 1st; 
on the 25th, only four days after, and published 
at the same time, it was followed by a hymn 
of the tenderest beauty for Burial of the Dead, 
scarcely if at all inferior to " Now the labourer's 
task is o'er," 

"When the day of toil is done, 
When the race of life is run, 
Father, grant Thy wearied one 

Rest for evermore ! " 

This hymn was first sung at the funeral of Mr. 
Thomas Stubbs, chief manager of the Crewe Rail- 
way Works, September 25, 1870. The sermon 
which the Vicar preached on the Sunday following 
the funeral, and afterwards published, is a touching 
tribute to the memory of a good and faithful servant. 
Among many memorable words which it contains 
the following may well be repeated. Alluding to 
the early age l at which the deceased was called 
away, he says " The true measure of the length of 
a life is not its years but its usefulness." Again, 
with reference to the comparatively obscure sphere 
of labour to which many are called" We honour 

1 Thirty-five years. 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 53 

the soldier who gives his life upon the field, in 
obedience to the call of duty ; or the sailor who 
goes down in his sinking ship in giving or in carry- 
ing out his orders. And surely it is just as heroic, 
just as honourable, to be found faithful to death in 
any other service to which a man has been called ; 
to care more for doing our daily work well, than for 
doing it easily ; to treat it not merely as a means of 
getting bread, but as a task which it is a duty to 
God to do thoroughly, and a sin against God to do 
carelessly." 

This was the second of the six hymns by the 
poet sung at his funeral. 

3. " Come forth, O Christian brothers," composed 
for a Festival of Parochial Choirs at Chester, May 
1870. 

4. "God the Almighty, in wisdom ordaining," 
written for a country congregation during the 
French and German war, 1870, in imitation of 
" God the all-terrible ! King Who ordainest," 
attributed to Henry Fothergill Chorley. It is 
dated August 28, 1870. 

5. " O Thou in Whom Thy saints repose," for 
the consecration of a burial ground. Written upon 
the occasion of an addition to the parish church- 
yard of Tarporley, Cheshire, Nov. 19. 

6. " The Lord be with us as we bend." " Written 
at the request of a friend, for use at the close of 
service on Sunday afternoons, when (as in summer) 
strictly Evening hymns would be unsuitable." l 

7. " The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended." 
Contributed to a "Liturgy for Missionary Meetings," 

1 Notes and Illustrations, Hymn 52, 



54 JOHN ELLERTON 

revised for Church Hymns, the first line borrowed 
from an anonymous hymn in Church Poetry (1855). 

8. " Behold us, Lord, a little space," for a mid-day 
service in a city church. 

9. " God, Creator, and Preserver," for times of scar- 
city and bad harvest; written for The Hymnary(tf<S}. 

10. " Sing, ye faithful, sing with gladness." The 
full and authorized form of this noble hymn on the 
Incarnation is found in Hymns Original and 
Translated, and consists of eight stanzas, "with the 
refrain " Evermore and evermore." In Church 
Hymns (499) it is cut down to five stanzas and the 
refrain omitted, by which it is considerably shorn of 
its beauty and spirit. It deserves a fine tune to 
itself. It is partly an imitation of Da puer 
plectrum of Prudentius 1 (b. 348). 

To compose these ten hymns, and at the same 
time to comply with the incessant demand for 
sermons, lectures, and addresses of all sorts, made 
by so busy a place as Crewe, to say nothing of the 
time spent in visiting and other parochial work, 
shows a wonderful activity, intellectual and bodily, 
on the part of the Vicar. He had no curate to 
take some of the duties off his hands and leave him 
time for quiet study; everything had to be done by 
himself, and the united voice of the parish, expressed 
on his resignation two years after, pronounced that 
it was done well, thoroughly, and faithfully. 

Still more prolific was the following year (1871), 

1 Poeta eximius eruditissimus et sanctissimus scriptor 
nemo divinius de rebus Christianis unquam scripsit. Such is 
Earth's praise of Prudentius, quoted by Archbishop Trench. 
Sacred Latin Poetry, p. 119. 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 55 

producing twelve original hymns and four trans- 
lations from the Latin, not of course all of equal 
excellence, but among them some of the very best. 
The first one, bearing date January 14, is 

1. "King Messiah, long expected." A much- 
needed hymn for the Circumcision, written for 
Church Hymns. Hymns Ancient and Modern has 
only two, and The Hymnary only one for this fes- 
tival. Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, to supply 
the want, wrote " Giver of law is God's dear Son," 
by no means his happiest inspiration. Among these 
" King Messiah, long expected " shines out as a star 
of the first magnitude. 

This was followed February 1 3 by 

2. " Another day begun," for a week-day morning 
service. 

3. " We sing the glorious conquest," for the 
Conversion of St. Paul; written Feb. 28, 1871, for 
Church Hymns, and passed into Hymns Ancient 
and Modern. 

4. " Father ! Name of love and fear." A Confirm- 
ation hymn, dated March 18. 

5. " O Son of God, our Captain of salvation." 
St. Barnabas. Also written for Church Hymns, 
and incorporated into Hymns Ancient and Modern. 
Dated April 5, 1871. 

6. " O Lord of life and death, we come." A hymn 
for time of pestilence ; remarkable for its common- 
sense and courage in attributing pestilence to what 
is frequently its true source bad drainage 

" Forgive the foul neglect that brought 

Thy chastening to our door : 
The homes uncleansed? etc., dated October 20, 



56 JOHN ELLERTON 

7. " Thou in Whose Name the two or three." For 
Wednesday. 

8. "King of Saints, to Whom the number." A fine 
hymn for St. Bartholomew, in the tetrameter 
trochaic metre of fifteen syllables broken into 
two parts, a break which Bishop Christopher 
Wordsworth calls " a serious evil to Hymnology," 
though why we cannot see. The very probable 
conjecture that this saint is to be identified with 
the Nathaniel of the fourth Gospel 1 is neatly ex- 
pressed in the third verse 

" Was it he, beneath the fig-tree 

Seen of Thee, and guileless found ; 
He who saw the Good he long'd for 

Rise from Nazareth's barren ground ; 
He who met his risen Master 

On the shore of Galilee ; 
He to whom the word was spoken, 

' Greater things thou yet shalt see ' ? " 

" None can tell us." 

This favourite hymn, written for Church Hymns, 
is also to be found in Hymns Ancient and Modern 

(419). 

9. " Mary at the Master's feet." For Catechizing ; 
written for Church Hymns. 

We now come to the loveliest and most loved of 
all Mr. Ellerton's hymns 

10. " Now the labourer's task is o'er." It has 
been sung, and will continue to be sung, at the 
grave-side of princes, divines, statesmen, poets, 
artists, authors, as well as of many a Christian 

1 St. John i. 45 ; xxi. 2. 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN $? 

labourer in humble life. No hymnal is now deemed 
complete without it. 

Like the Te Deum, Bishop Ken's Evening 
Hymn, and many another composition of highest 
excellence, this hymn contains evidences of pre- 
existing material. This the author himself points 
out in his Notes and Illustrations to Church Hymns. 
" *f he whole hymn," he says, " especially the third, 
fifth, and sixth verses, owes many thoughts and 
some expressions to a beautiful poem of the Rev. 
Gerard Moultrie's, beginning 'Brother, now thy 
toils are o'er/ " which will be found in the People's 
Hymnal, 380. 

There can be no doubt that the popularity of 
the hymn has been largely increased by the lovely 
and sympathetic melody " Requiescat," by Dr. 
Dykes, in Hymns Ancient and Modern, to which 
it is now exclusively and inseparably united. 

ii. "In the Name which earth and heaven." 
Processional for the foundation of a Church. The 
author observes, " A cento from this and ' Lift 
the strain of high thanksgiving,' was compiled and 
sung for the first time at the re-opening of the 
nave of Chester Cathedral, January 25, 1872." 

12. " Praise to our God, whose bounteous hand 
Prepared of old our glorious land." 

A hymn of national thanksgiving, first printed in 
Rev. R. Brown- Borthwick's Select Hymns. 

The four translations made this year (1871) are 
i. "Oh come, all ye faithful, joyful and tri- 
umphant." Translated from a cento of four stanzas 
from the favourite Adeste fideles, laeti triurnphantes. 



58 JOHN ELLERTON 

The original poem, the full text of which is 
given in Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology, contains 
eight stanzas, but the shortened form is the English 
use. The author of the article on this hymn in 
Julian's Dictionary mentions no fewer than thirty- 
eight renderings a striking proof of its popularity 
as a Christmas hymn. One aim of Mr. Ellerton's 
translation appears to be to give as far as possible 
a syllable to each note of the traditional melody, 
and its chief peculiarity is his version of the first 
line of the fourth stanza " Thou, Who didst deign 
to be born for us this morning," instead of " Yea, 
Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning," 1 
as it stands in Canon Oakeley's arrangement 
(Hymns Ancient and Modern). 

With regard to the authorship and date of this 
hymn all is uncertainty. Mr. Ellerton's note is 
" Doubtless not older than the fifteenth century, 
and not originally written for liturgical use ; " 
while the writer in Julian's Dictionary says, " Pro- 
bably it is a hymn of the seventeenth or eighteenth 
century, and of French or German authorship." 
If, however, the late Vincent Novello erred not in 
attributing the traditional melody to John Reading, 
organist of Winchester Cathedral, 1675 i68i, 2 the 
hymn may not be later than the seventeenth century. 
But whensoever or by whomsoever composed the 
hymn has taken an assured place as emphatically 
the Christmas Hymn of the Western Church. 

2. "Giver of the perfect gift," Summi largitor 
praemii, an anonymous Lenten hymn of the ninth 

1 In The Hymnary this last line reads " Born of Virgin 
Mother." 2 Julian's Dictionary, p. 20, 



EASEBOURNE BRIGHTON CREWE GREEN 59 

or tenth (?) century. The Hymns Ancient and 
Modern rendering, by J. W. Hewett, "O Thou 
Who dost to man accord," is perhaps better 
known. 

3. " We sing of Christ's eternal gifts/' Aeterna 
Christi munerci) Apostolorum gloriam^ an adaptation 
for apostles as distinct from martyrs, of the cele- 
brated Ambrosian hymn, Aeterna Christi munera, 
Et martyrum victorias. Whether this hymn be 
St. Ambrose's, to whom the Benedictine editors 
ascribe it, or not, it is certainly not later than the 
fifth century. 1 The rendering in Church Hymns 
is partly that of Dr. Neale, 2 and partly Mr. 
Ellerton's. The Hymns Ancient and Modern 
translation is by Dr. Neale. 

4. " To the Name that speaks salvation." Trans- 
lated from Gloriosi Salvatoris^ an anonymous 
Latin hymn of German origin, possibly of the 
fifteenth century. There are several translations ; 
that in Hymns Ancient and Modern is an altered 
version of Dr. Neale's ; Mr. Ellerton's is adopted 
in Church Hymns. 

The amazing fertility of Mr. Ellerton's poetic 
genius during these two years has seldom if ever 
been surpassed by any sacred writer. Of all 
species of composition the hymn is one which 
cannot be hurried, cannot be produced to order 
like a catalogue or a sermon ; it is the sudden and 
often unpremeditated inspiration which sweeps 

1 Trench, Sacred Latin Poetry, p. 210. St. Ambrose was 
Bishop of Milan, 374397. 

2 Not of J. D. Chambers, as stated by Mr. Ellerton in his 
Notes and Illustrations. Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology. 



60 JOHN ELLERTON 

down upon the singer, it may be at some unexpected 
moment, never more accurately expressed than by 
the Psalmist 

" My heart was hot within me ; 
And while I was thus musing a fire kindled : 
And at the last I spake with my tongue." l 

1 Ps. xxxix. 4. 



CHAPTER III 

18721876 

HIN STOCK 

ON the main road between the two Shropshire 
towns of Market Drayton and Newport, the latter 
on the borders of Staffordshire, lies the village of 
Hinstock. It nestles among the low smooth hills 
of the new red sandstone, a fact at once betrayed 
by the little church as it raises its square tower 
among the surrounding trees. The building itself, 
which stands hard by the rectory, on a little raised 
mound entirely surrounded by the road, possesses 
no architectural pretensions. 1 Like many churches 
in Shropshire, it is dedicated to St. Oswald, " that 
most Christian King of the Northumbrians," as 
Bede calls him, who was slain by Penda, king of 
the Mercians, in the battle of Maserfeld, 2 on August 
5, 642. The church has to some extent been 
beautified by a later rector, but in 1 872 it was a 
very plain modern structure with absolutely no 
chancel. The rectory was a modern red-brick 

1 It was always a matter of regret with Mr. Ellerton that 
none of his churches, until he came to White Roding, had 
any architectural interest. 

2 Considered by some to be the former name of Oswestry, 
before it was re-named after Oswald. 

61 



62 JOHN ELLERTON 

house, with a lawn extending to the churchyard, 
a grand old yew-tree standing in the boundary line, 
as if to guard against any encroachment of the one 
upon the other. 

A parish so utterly secluded and cut off from 
the ordinary channels of intercourse with the great 
centres of life and intellectual activity might afford 
a fitting sphere of work for a clergyman who would 
find congenial occupation and relaxation in rural 
intercourses and pursuits ; but for a man who had 
achieved renown as a sacred poet, for a preacher 
and scholar of no ordinary calibre, for one who 
loved and adorned the society of thinkers and 
workers to put such a man, in the very prime of 
life and power, into a parish like this was to consign 
him to a living grave. 

Yet notwithstanding the many drawbacks and 
disadvantages arising from the difficulty of access 
to public libraries, it was here that the greater part 
of his Magnum opus, the Notes and Illustrations 
to Church Hymns, published in the folio edition 
of that work, was written. It was here too that he 
composed the article " Hymns " in the Dictionary 
of Christian Antiquities, a piece of writing which, 
as he told me, cost him many a journey to Cam- 
bridge. In fact, his work at Hinstock was not so 
much- the composition of hymns as assisting in the 
compilation of hymnals, and the improving of 
congregational singing. 

The first of these was, however, by no means 
dropped. Between the years 1872 and 1876 several 
original hymns and one translation appeared 

i. " Thou Who once for us uplifted." Written 



HINSTOCK 63 

for Canon Cooper, then rector of Tarporley, a 
small town between Crewe and Chester, as a 
dedication hymn for the Chapel of Ease of St. 
John and the Holy Cross, Cote Brook, a hamlet 
in the parish. It was sung at the laying of the 
corner-stone, September 13, 1873. 

The hymn as it now appears in Hymns Original 
and Translated, p. 43, differs somewhat from its 
early form. The second verse, beginning " In Thy 
Name, O Lord, we lay it," does not appear, and 
the third, which owed its special significance to the 
occasion, is omitted 

" By Thy Cross, that day of sorrow, 
Stood Thy loved Apostle John, 
Till he heard the Cry that witnessed 

All Thy mighty labours done ; 
Till he saw the cruel spear-point 
Pierce the Breast he leaned upon." 

This is the only hymn bearing the date of 1873. 

2. " Thou Who sentest Thine Apostles." 1874. 

3. "Throned upon the awful Tree." 1875. The 
grandest of his original compositions. 

4. " Once more Thy Cross before our view." 
1875. For the evening of Good Friday. 

5. " O Father, all creating." January 29, 1876. 
A wedding hymn, written at the request of the 
Duke of Westminster, for the marriage of his 
daughter, the Lady Elizabeth Harriet Grosvenor, to 
the Marquis of Ormonde, Feb. 2, 1876. 

6. " Speak Thou to me, Lord." Entitled " The 
Voice of God." 1876. 

Two years after his coming to Hinstock, Mr. 
Ellerton accepted, at the request of Bishop Selwyn, 



64 JOHN ELLERTON 

the post of Diocesan Inspector for Salop-in-Lich- 
field. The duties of such an appointment were in 
every way congenial to his love for children. It 
was for them that at Brighton his earliest hymns 
were composed, and his first book was published. 

It was about this time too that, in conjunction 
with his friend Canon Walsham How, Mr. Ellerton 
compiled Children's Hymns and School Prayers^ 
the forerunner of the more important Children s 
Hymn-Book. This very useful little work consists 
of School Prayers, Occasional Prayers, and a form 
for Children's Service, the last being drawn up 
by Canon How. The hymns (including four 
appropriate Litanies) are one hundred and fifty- 
three in number, of which eight are by Mr. Ellerton. 
Seven had appeared before, but one was now pub- 
lished for the first time, namely, the very spirited 
and melodious 

" Again the morn of gladness, 
The morn of light, is here." 

With the beautiful refrain 

" Glory be to Jesus, 

Let all His children say ; 
He rose again, He rose again 
On this glad day ! " 

though it deserves a tune to itself instead of bor- 
rowing Wir Pflilgen from " We plough the fields and 
scatter," to which it is set in the Children s Hymn- 
Book? It was written in 1 874, at the request of his 

1 Published by S. P. C. K. 

2 A hymn and the tune composed for it, provided that 
each be worthy of the other, so unite them that to separate 
them and make the tune do double duty is a species of di- 



HINSTOCK 65 

friend, the Rev. D. Trinder, Vicar of Teddington, 
as a processional for Sunday School children on 
their way to church. 

The translation referred to is " All my heart to 
Thee I give "(June 3, 1874), from the anonymous 
Latin hymn Cor meum Tibi dedo. This, however, is 
for private and devotional use rather than for public 
worship, a distinction which Mr. Ellerton was al- 
ways careful to observe. 1 It has been set to music 
as a sacred song by Dr. John Naylor, organist of 
York Minster. 

Happily Mr. Ellerton's residence at Hinstock 
did not last long, only five years, for in 1876, owing, 
I understand, to the thoughtful kindness of his 
friend Canon (afterwards Bishop) Lightfoot, he was 
presented by the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's 
to the suburban rectory of Barnes, Surrey. 

vorce which we instinctively resent. We feel that the sub- 
stituted hymn is clad in a garment not made for it, which 
fits it badly, and which can only be worn gracefully by its 
rightful owner. 

1 It is interesting, however, to observe how some hymns, 
written solely for personal and devotional use, have found 
their way into public worship, e.g. " Abide with me ; fast falls 
the eventide." " This hymn, written by Mr. Lyte in his last 
illness, was not intended for use by a congregation, or as an 
Evening Hymn. The references throughout are to the close, 
not of the day, but of life." (MS. note by J. E.) 



CHAPTER IV 

18761884 

BARNES 

Church Hymns Children's Hymn-BookChurch of England 
Hymn-Book London Mission Hymn-Book 

THE parish of Barnes, large, populous, and im- 
portant, offered a noble field for ministerial work, 
and into this the new rector threw himself with 
unreserved devotion, giving all his powers of mind 
and body to the welfare of those whom he had 
been called to serve. A very different congregation 
now listened to him from what he had been 
accustomed to address in Cheshire, a congregation 
which had been taught to look for teaching of the 
highest order from a pulpit long occupied by the 
eloquent Henry Melvill, and after him by the 
scholarly Medd. As these pages are designed to 
be but a sketch of Mr. Ellerton's life, and by no 
means a full biography, I say but little of his 
ministerial work at Barnes, where I had the privi- 
lege of being associated with him as his curate, 
and dwell rather upon the literary side of his in- 
dustry. Suffice it to say, that every detail of 
parochial work was thoroughly mastered. In one 
part of the parish a room was opened for special 
66 



BARNES 67 

services for the poor ; in another an iron church, 
since replaced by a permanent and handsome 
structure, was erected. Whether it was the choir, 
the schools, district visitors, or confirmation classes, 
upon each in its turn he concentrated his whole 
mind, spending and being spent in his Master's 
service, until his strength broke down under the 
burden, and he was compelled to resign it to an- 
other. Perhaps it was only the few who could 
appreciate his rare gifts of oratory, his elegant 
scholarship ; but all loved him, all, that is, whose 
hearts were capable of responding to the reality of 
his sympathy, and the warmth of his loving heart. 
One l who knew him well wrote, on the occasion of 
his death " that he was a man of deep learning 
and of varied and extended reading, no educated 
listener could fail to discover, although his sermons 
were remarkably free from parade of erudition or 
excess of ornament. But it was not his mastery of 
English, his many-sided culture, and his transparent 
sincerity that gave to his sermons the attractive- 
ness to which we refer. It was rather that rare and 
indefinable sometJiing which radiates from poetic 
natures, and makes other hearts burn within them." 
One of the results of. Mr. Ellerton's coming to 
the neighbourhood of London, was a more intimate 
and personal share in the affairs of the Society for 
Promoting Christian Knowledge, for which he had 
already done such good work. He was a member 
of the Tract Committee from 1878 until the time 
of his death. One of his colleagues, the present 
Archdeacon of Middlesex, writes, " On the Tract 
1 Professor Henry Attwell, K.O.C. 



68 JOHN ELLERTON 

Committee he was our authority in matters of 
poetry and music; and was looked up to by all 
as a sound theologian." His great work for the 
Committee was his editing the Manual of Parochial 
Work, and subsequently revising it for the second 
edition. " A great deal of the Manual (as you are 
well aware) is from his pen. All who had the 
pleasure of working with him remember with 
affection his gentle and quiet manner, and the 
touches of humour which he not unfrequently 
threw into his observations." 1 

In connection with this Society Mr. Ellerton 
also wrote a series of Tracts ; two for Ash- 
Wednesday, one for Lent, Good Friday, Easter, 
Ascension Day, and Whit Sunday. 

In addition to the vast amount of hymnological 
work accomplished at Barnes in connection with 
Church Hymns with Notes and Illustrations, the 
Children's Hymn-Book, and the London Mission 
Hymn-Book, Mr. Ellerton composed the following 
hymns : 

1. "Thy Voice it is that calls us, bounteous 
Lord." August 21, 1877. Written for Early 
Communion at a meeting of Clergy; the idea taken 
from St. John xxi. 12, "Jesus saith unto them, 
Come and break your fast." 2 

2. "This day the Lord's disciples met." For 
Whit-Sunday, written for the Children's Hymn- Book. 

3. " In the Name which holy angels." September 
1878. A hymn which he very kindly wrote at my 

1 Letter to the Author. 

2 R.V. giving the true translation of dptoT//<T<m, which the 
A.V. " come and dine " obscures. 



BARNES 69 

request for the opening of the temporary iron 
church of St. Michael and All Angels, in the district 
of Westfields, Barnes. 

4. "Oh how fair that morning broke." March 
13, 1880. Septuagesima ; written for the Children's 
Hymn-Book. 

5. " Before the day draws near its ending." April 
22, 1880. After service, Sundays or Festivals. 

6. O Thou Whose bounty fills the earth." For 
a Children's Flower Service. As it is dated 
Chelsea, June 6, 1880, it was no doubt written 
at Chelsea Rectory when on a visit to his friend, 
the Rev. Gerald Blunt, the author of the favourite 
Flower Service hymn, " Here, Lord, we offer Thee 
all that is fairest," Hymns Ancient and Modern, 
598. These hymns of the two old friends stand 
together in the Children's Hymn-Book. . 

7. "Hail to the Lord Who comes." October 
6, 1880. Presentation of Christ in the Temple; 
written for the Rev. Godfrey Thring. 

8. ""Praise our God, Whose open Hand." Written 
for a bad harvest, and printed in the Guardian, 
August 1 88 1. 

The Rev. F. G. Ellerton writes to me, " Numerous 
letters and telegrams at once showered on my 
father asking permission to use it, or announcing 
the fact of having done so, requesting copies, or 
bidding him order some for them, etc., etc. I 
have no less than twenty-seven of them." 

9. " Break Thou to us, O Lord, 

The Bread of Life to-day ; 
And through Thy written Word 
Thy very self display." 1 88 1 , 



70 JOHN ELLERTON 

10. "O Thou Who givest food to all." August 
30, 1882. Harvest Thanksgiving. Stated in 
Hymns Original and Translated to have been 
written for the Church of England Temperance 
Society, but it is not in their hymn-book ; per- 
haps the boldness which did not fear to assert that 
both Corn and Wine are God's "high gifts," in 
accordance with the whole teaching and tenor of 
Holy Scripture, condemned it in the eyes of the 
Society. 

11. " Thou Who wearied by the well." September 
23, 1882. For the opening of a Workman's Coffee 
Tavern. 

12. " Within Thy Temple, Lord, of old." Written 
for the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Dedication of 
Christ Church, Coventry. This Jubilee was held 
in August 1882. 

13. "Praise our God for all the wonders." 
December 1882. Composed for the Dedication 
Festival of St. Nicholas Church, Brighton. A fine 
historical Processional similar in conception to the 
St. Martin's hymn. 1 

Among the minor hymnological works, but 
nevertheless a very important one, which Mr. 
Ellerton completed at Barnes must be included 
the London Mission Hymn-Book. In 1884 the 
General London Mission was held, and it was 
thought desirable to prepare a hymn-book for it. 
Mr. Ellerton, being selected as one of the editors, 
consulted with other hymnologists of eminence, 
especially Canon Walsham How, and Bishop 
E. H. Bickersteth ; but the weight of the burden 

1 p. MS- 



BARNES /I 

was mainly borne by himself. The book was 
published by the Society for Promoting Christian 
Knowledge in July, and contained, inclusive of the 
Appendix, 21 1 hymns, to which were added the 
Venite, Te Deum laudamus, Magnificat, Nunc 
dimittis, and Psalms li. and cxxx. It was for 
this book that Mr. Ellerton wrote his spirited 
Processional " Onward, brothers, onward ! march 
with one accord," 



CHURCH HYMNS 

SINCE it was at Barnes that Church Hymns with 
Notes and Illustrations, and the Children's Hymn- 
Book, two out of the three 1 of Mr. Ellerton's 
most important hymnological labours, were com- 
pleted and published, this seems the most fitting 
place to introduce some account of these works. 

Even before leaving Crewe Green the foundations 
of his fame as a sacred poet were laid, but by the 
time he was promoted to Barnes his influence had 
impressed itself indelibly on the hymnody of the 
Church. His hymns were now known far and wide, 
their catholicity and comprehensiveness gaining for 
many of them acceptance in other Christian con- 
gregations both at home and abroad. 

When or under what circumstances he first 
began to make hymns his special study it is im- 
possible to say. In 1879 he speaks of his "more 
than twenty years devotion to hymnology," and it 
was in 1859, when curate of the parish church of 
Brighton, that he compiled Hymns for Schools and 
Bible Classes. In 1863 we find Dr. Kennedy, 

1 The third, the complete edition of Hymns Ancient and 
Modern, was published in 1889, when Mr. Ellerton was 
Rector of White Roding. 

72 



CHURCH HYMNS 73 

Head-master of Shrewsbury School, then prepar- 
ing his Hymnologia Christiana, appealing to him 
as an authority on the subject. With him the first 
object in life was ever to make full proof of his 
ministry ; to feed the flock of God over which he 
had been appointed ; to preach the Word ; to be 
instant in season, out of season ; to reprove, rebuke, 
exhort with all long-suffering and -doctrine. He 
was priest first, and only after that a poet. His 
first thought and aim was absolute self-dedication 
to his Master's service, and next to devote what 
spare time he found to hymnology, to promote 
God's honour by perfecting, so far as in him lay, 
the service of song in the house of the Lord. 

To estimate at its true value the part which Mr. 
Ellerton took in that great awakening of Church 
music which accompanied the revival of Church- 
manship, begun by the Wesleys, carried on by the 
leaders of the old Evangelical School, and strength- 
ened by the Oxford movement, we must compare 
what it was some forty or thirty years ago with 
what it is at the present day. With regard to 
hymn-books, their number was well nigh countless. 
They had sprung up like mushrooms in an autumn 
meadow. Between 1820 and 1850 Dr. Julian 
enumerates at least seventy-eight as having ap- 
peared, differing vastly in their degrees of merit. 
In fact, as to the clergy in this matter every man 
did that which was right in his own eyes. Many 
who could afford it compiled collections for their 
own congregations, so that it was difficult to find 
two churches in a town using the same book. The 
singing too was equally deplorable. The hymns, 



74 JOHN ELLERTON 

given out by the clerk, were generally restricted to 
four verses, and it was considered the correct thing 
for the organist to play an interlude between each 
verse. Such Churches as did not adopt or compile 
a book of hymns for their own use commonly used 
Tate and Brady's metrical version, or rather per- 
version, of the Psalms. 1 

Among the many attempts to put forth a book 
which should more or less tend to put a stop to 
the general confusion, the S. P. C. K. published a 
small collection in 1852. Three years afterwards 
(1855) it was issued in an enlarged form as Psalms 
and Hymns, to which, in 1863, an Appendix was 
added. But a new star had already risen, not par- 
ticularly brilliant at its first appearance, still bright 
enough to attract the gaze of many, and draw forth 
the question Is this the long-expected Hymnal for 
which we have been waiting, and which is destined 
to become the accepted hymn-book of the Anglican 
Church ? This was Hymns Ancient and Modern, 
published in 1861, followed by an Appendix in 1868. 

It would seem that Mr. Ellerton was by no 
means satisfied with either of these collections, for 
in 1869 he had thoughts of issuing, in conjunction 
with a few friends, a Hymnal independent of 
both, and a prospectus was drawn up and sent to 
London friends. But the energy displayed by the 
S. P. C. K. led him to reconsider his project. That 
Society, perceiving there was room for improve- 
ment in their Hymnal of 1863, proposed to add a 

1 As St. Jerome calls the numerous and unauthorized Latin 
translations 01 the New Testament in his day not versiones 
but eversiones. 



CHURCH HYMNS 75 

comprehensive Appendix, but the proposal eventu- 
ally resulted in the compilation of a new book 
under the title of Church Hymns. In reference to 
the proposed Appendix, Mr. Berdmore Compton, 
then on the Tract Committee, and editor of the 
Appendix of 1 863, wrote as follows to Mr. Ellerton : 
" The Tract Committee have now completed their 
selection from those hymns which I have brought 
before them. They decided not to revise the exist- 
ing book for the present, but to add a Supplement 
containing indeed a few restorations of hymns, 
which I thought absolutely necessary, they having 
been miserably curtailed in the present work. But 
the Supplement will mainly consist of new hymns, 
and will be large, probably about 220 in number." 
He then asks permission to include " Sing Alleluia 
forth in duteous praise," and " Saviour, again to 
Thy dear Name we raise," and for help with regard 
to discovering the authorship of other hymns. 

In consequence of this move on the part of the 
Society, Mr. Ellerton abandoned his design of a 
separate work, and wrote to Mr. Berdmore Compton 
the following letter, valuable as setting forth the 
principles upon which, in the writer's opinion, a 
Hymnal should be compiled, principles which he 
himself applied to the various hymnals for which 
his advice or co-operation was sought : 

" Creiue Green Parsonage, Crewe, 



"DEAR SIR, 

" If I can be of any use to you in your 
task of improving the present S. P. C. K. Hymnal, I 



76 JOHN ELLERTON 

shall have much pleasure in assisting so good a 
work. 

"The system upon which you propose to act 
appears to me to be a very sound one ; my only 
fear is lest alterations, which ought to be extensive 
ones in order to make the book as good as it is 
possible to make it, may be productive of serious 
inconvenience to the congregations which already 
use the Hymnal. I am strongly of opinion that, 
notwithstanding this, the effort you propose to 
make ought to be made ; but still I fear that this 
objection may weigh very strongly with some 
members of the Tract Committee, and may hinder 
the free development of your plan. 

"The existing Hymnal has the advantage of 
representing more than one school of English 
devotional theology, and the hymns which it con- 
tains are (in the later edition) presented in a less 
corrupt text than usual. It contains of course 
also many hymns of sterling worth and beauty ; 
still a very careful examination of it last winter led 
me to the conclusion that it has some great defects. 

" i. The area from which its sources are drawn 
is, I think, far too narrow. In its first form there 
were, I believe, no ancient hymns except the Veni 
Creator; now there are a certain number of Gallican 
ones, but very few representing the richest period 
of Latin hymnody, and no Greek ones at all. I 
feel sure that an examination of the best mediaeval 
hymns will convince you that there is no real reason 
for their exclusion, any more than for that of the 
contemporary collects which fill so large a space in 
our Prayer-book. That which is unsuitable for 



CHURCH HYMNS 77 

the use of a Reformed Church ought of course, 
however fine the hymn, to be most rigidly excluded. 
I would not wish to see Vexilla Regis or Pange 
lingua admitted ; x but there are many of our older 
hymns full of true congregational spirit, of sim- 
plicity, devotion, and depth, which would adorn 
any collection, and ought not to be left as the 
heritage of one particular school in the Church. 
This can, I think, be easily shown by a reference 
to such a book as Daniel's Thesaurus Hymnologicus, 
which I mention chiefly because Dr. Daniel is a 
most sincere Protestant. It would be worth the 
while of the Tract Committee to consider whether 
they might not secure good translations of some of 
these, and purchase the copyright of existing 
translations of others. 

"This leads me to refer to another case, the 
absence of many popular hymns by living authors. 
Surely these would not refuse permission to the 
Society to print hymns of theirs, but I should most 
respectfully suggest to the Committee whether it 
would not be worth while, even as a money specu- 

1 This seems rather hard upon two of the very finest hymns 
of the Latin Church. Only certain parts are unsuitable for 
Anglican use. Vexilla Regis is represented in Church 
Hymns by Bishop Walsham How's " free imitation," " The 
Royal Banner is unfurled," and in Hymns Ancient and 
Modern by Dr. Neale's " The Royal Banners forward go." 
Pange lingua is also admitted into the former book as 
"Sing, my, tongue, the Saviour's glory," by Rev. F. Pott, and 
into the latter as "Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle," by 
Dr. Neale, the eighth verse of which might well have been 
omitted, savouring as it does too strongly of mediaeval 
sentimentalism. H. H. 



78 JOHN ELLERTON 

Jation, to lay out a certain sum in the purchase of 
the copyright of others. 

" Again, the great position of the S. P. C. K. gives 
it a matchless opportunity for investigating and 
using foreign hymnody. Germany is of course a 
very wide field, and the value for congregational 
use of German hymns is just now rather over-rated 
than under-rated, but still many, little known, might 
I think be found of service to us among especially 
the older German books. And the hymns of Den- 
mark 1 and the Chants Chretiens of Protestant 
France are almost or quite unknown to us here. 
Could not the Committee further communicate 
with the American Committee of Convention, who 
are at this moment engaged in preparing a new 
Hymnal for the Protestant Episcopal Church in 
the United States ? I believe much matter worth 
examining might be obtained from that quarter. 

" 2. The character of too many of the hymns in 
the Society's present book is certainly a rather 
dull and colourless mediocrity. And as I am 
writing to you freely and confidentially, I hope you 
will forgive my making one remark. Of course I 
feel that the position of the S. P. C. K. in relation 
to existing divisions within the Church is a very 
difficult one > and requires the utmost wisdom and 
firmness in those who conduct it. But for a Society 
which seeks to be a Church and not a sectarian 
Society, there is always the danger of ignoring 

1 " Through the night of doubt and sorrow." Mr, Ellerton 
revised the Rev. S. Baring-Gould's translation of this favourite 
hymn from the Danish, and it was first sung in Crewe Green 
Church. H. H. 



CHURCH HYMNS 79 

truths out of the very fear of overstating them. 
It is easy to try to steer a safe course by omitting 
what will offend one or other school in the Church, 
but often the result is to leave a mere dull residuum 
of that which is certainly common to both, but 
which satisfies the faith of neither. Surely if each 
side (within due limits) were represented'^, a Hymnal, 
as it is in our Prayer-book, the object of wide and 
common use would be attained in a nobler and 
more effectual way, e.g. in the section on Holy 
Communion I would retain the old evangelical 
hymns of Watts and Doddridge which are justly 
dear to thousands ; I would insert such hymns as 
"Thee we adore, O blessed Saviour, Thee," and 
one or two more which give that side of the 
doctrine which the Catechism and Communion 
Service express ; and I would exclude such hymns 
as 119 and 122, which really satisfy neither school, 
and are simply vague. Forgive me if I have 
gone beyond the range to which I ought to have 
restricted myself. 

"3. The number of hymns which ought to be 
excluded because too private for public worship is 
much less, I think, in the S. P. C. K. collection than 
in many others. The rule I would suggest is this : 
where a hymn expresses faith or feeling such as is, 
or ought to be, common to the whole or the greater 
part of the congregation, the mere occurrence of 
the singular number is no reason for excluding it. 
No one would banish ' Rock of Ages/ or ' Sun of my 
Soul'; on the other hand, such a hymn as Cowper's 
' Oh for a closer walk with God ' belongs to a par- 
ticular state of mind, and ought not to be put into 



8o JOHN ELLERTON 

the lips of a whole congregation. It is therefore 
out of place in a Hymnal for congregational use. 

" 4. Another point of some importance seems to 
me to be the preponderance, at least, of hymns which 
are acts of worship direct utterances of praise to 
God. I would not exclude all others; but there are 
in most Hymnals far too many sets of verses which 
are nothing more than religious meditations or 
paraphrases of texts, etc. In the Middle Ages this 
sort of verse was only allowed at one particular 
part of the service, viz. at the Prose or Sequence 
before the Gospel. Now if, without attempting to 
fix an arbitrary rule of this kind, the hymns under 
each head could be so grouped as to put first those 
of direct worship, and next such of a freer type as 
might be admitted (and that sparingly) into a gen- 
eral collection, I think the effect would be to guide 
the clergy better in selecting hymns, and to improve 
thereby the devotional character of our singing. 

" I will close this long letter with a few sugges- 
tions as they occur to me : 

"a. Metrical Psalms are now so generally acknow- 
ledged to be a mistake, and the chanting Psalms so 
common, that I should like to abolish the title 
Psalms and Hymns, and to throw the selection 
from the Psalter into the general body of Hymns, 
which contains already a large number of para- 
phrases of Psalms, as indeed every good English 
hymnal must necessarily do. But probably this is 
scarcely practicable. 1 

1 It is interesting thus to see a new thought feeling its 
way towards the light. What J. E. deemed scarcely practic- 
able not thirty years ago is now generally adopted. H. H. 



CHURCH HYMNS 8l 

" /3. The section of c General Hymns ' ought to 
be much enlarged. It should also be furnished with 
a very copious and complete Index of Subjects. I 
should like to see that on ' Holy Communion ' 
enlarged also, something on the plan of Mr. Jellicoe's 
Songs of the Church (you will not understand me as 
recommending the hymns he has selected) by a 
selection of Eucharistic hymns varying according 
to the seasons and greater Festivals. 

"Something of this too would be good for 
morning and evening hymns ; and we want a few 
for noon and afternoon to meet the increased 
division and multiplication of services. 

"y. May I say something about your Tune-Book ? 
This of course would have to be revised simultane- 
ously with the Hymnal. I have never yet met with 
a congregation that uses it freely, and with pleasure. 
It is grievously dull, the tunes often sadly unfitted 
to the hymns (e.g. how can 97 and 268 go to the 
same tune ? and that a Sunday School song, 
originally written, as the composer's son himself 
told me, for ' Twinkle, twinkle, little star ' !), and the 
whole book quite unworthy of the hymnal. I 
think a little effort might give the Society a Tune- 
Book of a far higher character. But again I fear I 
am travelling out of my province. 

" I will only add one suggestion. Many clergy- 
men (and laymen) would like to see an annotated 
edition of the Hymnal, with something of the 
history of the hymns and the names of the authors. 
I think this would sell well. Will you suggest it ? 
" Believe me, dear sir, yours faithfully, 

"JOHN ELLERTON." 
F 



82 JOHN ELLERTON 

Apparently, however, plans widened as the work 
went on, and eventually Mr. Ellerton, Canon 
(now Bishop) Walsham How, and Mr. Berdmore 
Compton became the editors of a new work which 
was published in 1871, under the title of Church 
Hymns. The musical editorship was first under- 
taken by Mr. (now Sir Arthur) Sullivan, and 
afterwards by Mr. J. W. Elliott, then organist 
to Rev. R. Brown-Borthwick, Vicar of All Saints, 
Scarborough. 

The labour, however, great as it was, in sifting 
and examining the existing stores of hymnody for 
this book, was accompanied by the far more ardu- 
ous task of carrying out the scheme suggested in 
the foregoing letter, and preparing an Introduction 
which should contain an account of every hymn in 
the collection, its authorship and history, a work 
which Mr. Ellerton tells us in his Preface, " occupied 
pleasantly such leisure time as could be given to it 
during nine years of a busy life." 

At all to realize the enormous labour which the 
work must have entailed, let the reader take the 
notes on one or two of the hymns, and he will at 
once see the wide acquaintance with the subject 
and the patient research among the stores, in many 
languages, of ancient and modern Hymnology, and 
the labour of verifying of authorities which it 
reveals. Take as a specimen the very first Bishop 
Ken's morning hymn, " Awake, my soul, and with 
the sun." First comes a sketch of the career of the 
saintly Bishop, his birth, fellowship, consecration, 
deprivation, death, with places and dates. Then the 
first appearance of the hymn, its textual variations, 



CHURCH HYMNS 83 

and its claim to originality discussed. Or take one 
of the Latin hymns, Pange lingua gloriosi proe- 
lium certaminis, for instance. Here we have first 
the translation by the Rev. Francis Pott, and 
subsequent variations ; then as it appears in the 
Roman Missal ; next, its authorship and the correc- 
tion of Bingham's error in ascribing it to Claudi- 
anus Mamertus ; and lastly, a very interesting sketch 
of the life of its true author, Venantius Fortunatus. 

Think of labour such as this spread over nearly 
six hundred hymns, the later portion of it- written 
amid the falling shadows of advancing life, at a 
time when the over-work of a large suburban 
parish was pressing heavily upon him and under- 
mining his health, at a time too of acute domestic 
bereavement, and we shall gain some idea of what 
it must have cost him to produce this standard 
work of hymnological research which, as Notes 
and Illustrations to the Hymns?- forms the intro- 
ductory portion of the magnificent folio edition of 
Church Hymns issued in 1881. 

For this Hymnal eleven original hymns were 
composed, and nine translations. 

1. "Another day begun." Feb. 13, 1871. 

2. " Behold us, Lord, a little space." p. 54. 

3. " In the Name which earth and heaven." p. 57. 

4. " King Messiah, long expected." p. 55. 

5. "King of Saints, to Whom the number." p. 56. 

6. " Mary at the Master's feet." p. 56. 

7. " Now returns the awful morning." For Good 

1 It was afterwards proposed to publish these Notes in a 
small volume separate from the Hymnal, which would largely 
have increased its usefulness. 



84 JOHN ELLERTON 

Friday. Stated in Notes and Illustrations to have 
been re-written in 1858 for a class of school-children 
from a hymn by Joseph Anstice, 1 and largely 
altered for Church Hymns. Verses 3 and 4, repre- 
senting respectively Professor Anstice's third and 
second verses, are all that is left of the original, and 
these are much varied, so the hymn may be placed 
among Mr. Ellerton's original compositions. 

8. "O Lord of life and death, we come." p. 55. 

9. " O Son of God, our Captain of salvation." 

P. 55- 

10. " Thou in Whose Name the two or three." 
p. 56. 

11. "We sing the glorious conquest." p. 55. 



TRANSLATIONS. 

12. "Bride of Christ, whose glorious warfare." 
Sponsa Christi quae per orbem. Considered by Mr. 
Mearns " one of the finest of the more recent French 
Sequences." 2 The author is Jean Baptiste de 
Contes, who became Dean of Paris in 1647. 

This fine All Saints' Day hymn appears in a 
shorter form in Church Hymns. It was re-cast in 
1887 with considerable variations and improve- 
ments for the complete edition of Hymns Ancient 
and Modern, 1889, where the original title " Bride 
of Christ," etc., is restored. 

1- He became Professor of Classical Literature at King's 
College, London, at the age of 22, and died at Torquay in 
1836, aged 28. (Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology^) 

2 Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 1081. See p. 134. 



CHURCH HYMNS 8? 

1 3. " From east to west, from shore to shore." 
A solis ortus cardine. By Coelius Sedulius (cir. 
450), a poet of whom next to nothing is known, 
save what can be gathered from two letters. This 
translation is made from a fragment of a long 
alphabetical poem, another cento from which be- 
gins "How vain the cruel Herod's fear" (Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, 75). 

14. " Giver of the perfect gift." Summi largitor 
praemii. Attributed, but without sufficient evidence, 
to St. Gregory the Great. 

*5 "Joy' because the circling year." Beata 
nobis gaudia. Ascribed, but like the last upon in- 
sufficient evidence, to St. Hilary of Poitiers. In 
the Mozarabic Breviary it is a Whit-Sunday hymn. 
Dr. Hort was associated with Mr. Ellerton in this 
translation. 1870. 

1 6. " Morn of morns, the best and first." Die 
dierum omnium. Based partly on the translation 
by the Rev. Isaac Williams. The original Latin 
is by Charles Coffin, Rector of the University of 
Paris (1718). Most of his hymns appeared in the 
Paris Breviary of 1736; this one is for Lauds on 
Sundays from Candlemas to Septuagesima (Julian, 
and Notes and Ilhistrations}. 

17. " O Strength and Stay, upholding all crea- 
tion." Rerum Deus tenax vigor. The original has 
been attributed to St. Ambrose, but it is not one of 
the twelve accounted his by the Benedictine editors. 
Among the translators of this hymn are found the 
names of many of our greatest hymnologists, but 
this version soars high above them all, the second 
stanza being inexpressibly lovely 



86 JOHN ELLERTON 

" Grant to life's day a calm unclouded ending, 

An eve untouch'd by shadows of decay, 
The brightness of a holy death-bed blending 
With dawning glories of the eternal day." 

The third verse is original. This was the closing 
hymn sung at Mr. Ellerton's funeral. 1870. 

18. "Oh come, all ye faithful." 1871. Adeste 
fideles, laeti triumphantes ; the famous Christmas 

hymn of the Western Church, p. 57. Like Vent 
Creator Spiritus and many another great hymn, 
the authorship is lost. 

There is little to choose between this version and 
what might almost be called the authorized one by 
Canon Oakley in Hymns Ancient and Modern. 
The metre is more regular, and consequently there 
are fewer slurs in the singing. 

19. "On this the day when days began." 1868. 
Primo dierum omnium. For early morning, on 
Sunday, p. 48. 

20. "To the Name that speaks salvation." 1871. 
"The Name of Jesus" (Aug. 17). This Com- 
memoration was removed at the Reformation from 
the Second Sunday after the Epiphany to Aug. 7. 1 
p. 59. 

In addition to these twenty hymns and trans- 
lations written for this Hymnal, it contains six 
previously composed, but published now for the 
first time in a collection, and thirteen previously 
published thirty-nine in all, no small contribution 
from one individual pen. 

1 Blunt's Annotated Prayer-book. 



THE CHILDREN'S HYMN-BOOK 

IN 1877 an intimation reached Mr. Ellerton, 
through a friend, that Mrs. Carey Brock, to whom 
the acting editorship of the new Children s Hymn- 
Book had been entrusted, was anxious to consult 
him with regard to its compilation. He immedi- 
ately wrote to that lady, not only placing at her 
service any of his own hymns, but also offering 
any help he could give in the preparation of this 
important work. 

This branch of hymnody was by no means new 
to him. Even when curate of Brighton he had 
compiled his Hymns for Schools and Bible Classes, 
and while at Hinstock had joined Canon Walsham 
How in editing for the Society for Promoting 
Christian Knowledge their Children's Hymns, con- 
tributing to it seven hymns of his own. 

It need hardly be said that this offer of assist- 
ance was as gratefully accepted as it was generously 
made. He had offered to take the subordinate 
part of examining such hymns as might be sub- 
mitted to him and offering suggestions, but the 
proprietors knew his value too well not to covet 
for the book his co-operation, as one of the revisers 
in conjunction with Bishops Walsham How and 
87 



88 JOHN ELLERTON 

Oxenden. In reply to this request he writes 
" When you did me the favour to write to me about 
your very important and interesting work, and I 
expressed my willingness to help, I did not think 
of your naming me as one of the publicly avowed 
revisers, and I should perhaps have shrunk both 
from the honour and the responsibility of the task. 
All I thought was, that as I happen to have a 
pretty large collection of children's hymns, and 
some little experience, I might have been able to 
add to your materials, and to suggest gaps for 
filling up. However, I will not draw back now, as 
you are pleased to wish me to occupy so difficult 
a post." 

One of the first things to decide in the compila- 
tion of the work was what age of childhood was to 
be provided for by it, and on this point Mr. Eller- 
ton's opinion was quite clear. " I am quite of your 
mind," he writes to Mrs. Carey Brock, " that we do 
not want it to be a book of baby hymns, still less 
of hymns written down for 'infant minds' by 
people who are well-meaning, but do not under- 
stand children. By all means have a large infusion 
of strong and vigorous hymns such as are generally 
used in church ; so long as the sentiments they con- 
vey are such as children can be expected to appreciate. 
If you do not make that limitation what is the 
raison d'etre of a children's book as distinguished 
on the one hand from an infant book, and on the 
other from an adult book? " In another letter he 
says " I think that you will be obliged to fix a 
limit, say, the usual age for Confirmation, and 
determine not to have a hymn that is above the 



THE CHILDREN'S HYMN-BOOK 89 

comprehension or beyond the spiritual experience 
(which \sfar more important) of the average Con- 
firmation candidate. I know, of course, that many 
young people, especially well-educated girls, enjoy 
at thirteen or fourteen such hymns as 'Lead, 
kindly Light,' or ' Abide with me,' or ' Lord of 
our life, and God of our salvation,' but the question 
is rather, Are these hymns good to be put before 
the average child, even at fourteen ? Well-educated 
(I mean spiritually well-educated) girls can get the 
books in which these hymns are to be found. But 
to me it is simple misery to hear a noisy Sunday 
School singing ' Abide with me ' I don't mean 
a class of upper girls ; I know there are many 
exceptions. So there are with adults. I knew a 
costermonger's wife who was sustained through a 
terrible operation by repeating to herself over and 
over again Novalis' x wondrous hymn, * What had 
I been if Thou wert not ; ' but it does not follow 
that I should put the hymn in a book for the 
poor." 

As the report of the forthcoming book spread 
many persons volunteered their effusions, which 
Mr. Ellerton characterized as " some of them valu- 
able in themselves, but unreal for children ; others, 
and these the worst, written for children by people 
who desire that children should undergo certain 
religious experiences, easily simulated, but most 
perilous to the simplicity and honesty of their 
relations with God." " I think," he writes, " many 

1 This was the nom de plume of G. F. Philipp von Harden- 
berg, d. 1801. The translation is by Miss Winkworth 
(James Mearns, Diet, of Hymnology\ 



90 JOHN ELLERTON 

a hymn not meant for children would not be at all 
out of place in your book. The only difficulty 
about these is that you must suppose children will 
use the hymn-book ordinarily and in the church 
they attend, and so become familiar with many 
hymns they will love all their lives ; and you want 
the space for hymns which deal especially with the 
thoughts and ways of young people, and give them 
the spiritual help to realize and to love Divine 
things, which at their time of life, and with the 
temptations of opening life, they really need." 

At last, in 1881, after years of thought and 
labour and prayer, the book was published. The 
Preface, written by Mr. Ellerton himself, embodies 
many expressions we have already met with in his 
letters. In it he writes as follows : " The object 
of this collection is to provide a hymnal for the 
young, in which, whilst a high standard of excel- 
lence and a healthy religious tone are preserved, 
every hymn shall be, as regards the sentiments 
conveyed and the expressions used, within their 
possible experience, and, as far as may be, within 
their comprehension. In adhering to this rule, the 
compilers have necessarily been obliged to exclude 
from their pages many hymns which, however 
valuable and beautiful in themselves, it would be 
impossible for children to use without a simulation 
of religious experience dangerous to the simplicity 
and truthfulness of their relations with God. At 
the same time, they have not forgotten the necessity 
of making children familiar -in childhood with such 
hymns as they can love and value all their lives." 

Such labour, such learning, such research, so 



THE CHILDREN'S HYMN-BOOK 91 

much prayerful thought bestowed by Mr. Ellerton 
and his fellow revisers upon The Children's Hymn- 
Book have been abundantly rewarded. The work 
was immediately recognized as supplying a want 
long felt in the Church. The latest and highest 
authority on the subject, Julian's Dictionary of 
Hymnology, says it "has at once taken the leading 
place among Church books, and contains not only 
the best hymns hitherto published, but new hymns, 
some of which are of equal value." 



THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND HYMN- 
BOOK 

IN addition to the laborious and difficult task of 
acting as reviser, we might almost say editor, of the 
foregoing important hymnals, Church Hymns, and 
the Children's Hymn-Book, Mr. Ellerton's opinion 
and advice were much sought by the compilers 
of other books. At this time the Rev. Prebendary 
Godfrey Thring was preparing for publication his 
Church of England Hymn-Book, and many were 
the letters which passed between the two poets 
with regard to it. It is true that Mr. Ellerton had 
no hand in the construction of the work, for, as 
Mr. Thring tells me, the whole book was entirely 
thought out and finished before he saw it, he seeing 
only the proof copy just before it was published, 
and too late to make any alteration in it. As 
specimens of the correspondence between the two 
friends, the two subjoined letters are interesting, 
the one showing the high value which Mr. Thring 
placed upon his friend's criticisms, the other con- 
taining the writer's estimate of some well-known 
hymns, and of one of his own. 
92 



THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND HYMN-BOOK 93 

" Hornblotton Rectory, 
" Castle Gary, Somerset. 
" Oct. 17, 1879- 

"Mv DEAR MR. ELLERTON, 

" Oh dear ! I am inclined to say. I wish I 
could have shown you the proof-sheets before the 
work had gone so far, for some of your remarks 
are very valuable, and you cannot think how I 
appreciate your kindness in taking all the trouble 
you have done, and even now I shall be able to do 
something towards repairing some of the omissions. 
But unfortunately Skeffington sent out his circular 
stating ' This day,' etc., so that, as he says, he is 
receiving daily orders for specimen copies and 
cannot supply them, and is urging me on to publish 
at once, and this is impossible, for even now, with 
all the revisions that it has been through, there are 
heaps of blunders, and in my state of health I am 
overburdened. This morning I have difficulty in 
gathering my thoughts. The book, however, is 
gone so far that I cannot put in or omit hymns 
now without incurring too great an expense, unless 
I can manage to get them into the same space. I 
will go through some of your chief criticisms as 
well as I can. 

" First morning hymns. I see I have marked 
some of the hymns you mention, and am very sorry 
that I did not put in 6 (Wesley's), ' Forth in Thy 
Name.' I hardly know how I came to omit this ; 
only for the last three or four years I have had to 
move about in search of health, and at one time I 
found that I had mislaid or lost several selected 
hymns, and I always feared lest I might have lost 



94 JOHN ELLERTON 

some of importance, and I rather think this must 
have been one of them. The other two (3 and 5) 
I might have had, but I have a large selection, and 
I do not think have lost much here. 815, Kennedy's 
Hymnologia, I have referred to, and find that I have 
cut out some hymn, and with it all but the first verse 
of the above; but that I do not think much of, if the 
rest of the hymn is not of a higher standard. 

" 24. It is too late now to revert to ( Towards 
the eve.' You are right, though, the other reads 
better. I fear I did not compare this with Chandler ; 
I could only get a copy lent me for a time. 

" 26. You are quite right about ' wishing ' being 
the consequence, not the cause. Perhaps you are 
rather hard in some of your other remarks on the 
poetic mind ! Still I had perhaps better have 
omitted the hymn altogether ; but again, too late. 

"42. I cannot recollect having shortened this 
hymn. I fancy you must have sent me this in 
MS., otherwise I do not know how I got it ; but 
how came it to be altered in Church Hymns ? I 
hope I have the proper text, for it is better than 
that in Church Hymns. I have made a note of 
your alterations ; it is a beautiful hymn, one of if 
not your best. 

" ' Alleluia ! fairest morning,' C/i. Hymns 38. A 
good hymn, but I fear it is too late, and I have, 
I think, a very good and sufficient selection for 
Sundays. I should, however, have inserted it had 
I known it sooner. You do not state who it is by. 1 

1 It is a translation from Hymns from the Land of Luther. 
The original is by Jonathan Krause (Diet, of Hymnology, 
P- 633). 



THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND HYMN-BOOK 95 

It is not, however, of sufficient consequence to pay 
a large sum to admit it now. 

" 85. ' Gird thee at the martyr's shrine.' You 
are rather hard upon this. I don't think that we 
need be quite as realistic as your sarcastic remarks 
would imply. 

"$8. Litanies are difficult matters. I thought 
myself fortunate in getting one on each of the 
most desirable subjects that were not rubbish. If 
people require more there are plenty of penny 
books, such as Pollock's (his is the best), and none 
others that I have seen come up to the literary 
standard which I fixed in my own mind . . . - 1 
Only those who, like myself, have tried, can have 
any idea of the labour of such an undertaking. I 
hope you will appreciate the Indexes, for those are 
a work of themselves. 

" Ever very truly yours, 

"GODFREY THRING." 

" The Rectory, Barnes, 
"Feb. 10, 1881. 

" MY DEAR THRING, 

" My conduct to you has been perfectly 
disgraceful, and no apology can cover it. But I 
have been very busy with my two bantlings, Church 
Hymns and the Children s Hymn-Book, which are 
both just ripe for publication, and will be out, I 
suspect, simultaneously. 

"Well, now to your letters. You were quite 
right to abuse my Purification Hymn ; I know it 
is very bad. Don't be angry with me for not doing 
1 Part of this letter is lost. 



96 JOHN ELLERTON 

an Easter Eucharistic Hymn ; I always use (and 
rejoice in) ' At the Lamb's high feast we sing ; ' but 
even without that I could not add a mediocre one 
to the stock of really fine Easter hymns we possess. 
Don't you like the rough force too of Luther's 
' Christ Jesus lay in Death's strong bands ' ? I do 
think that is so full of Easter life and joy and 
strength ! 

" I don't know anything about F. S. Pierpont * 
(so spelt, I think) except as a contributor to Orby 
Shipley's Lyra Eucharistica, and a layman. If 
you have Lyra Eucharistica, and intend to use * For 
the beauty of the earth/ look at it as it is there. 
The text in Church Hymns is very corrupt. But 
I added nothing ; Compton, I think, sent us the 
hymn. Unluckily I have not got the enlarged 
edition of Lyra Eucharistica^ and it is not in the 
first. 

" I don't think C. Wesley's hymn you enclose is 
one of the very best, it seems to me rather heavy, 
and lacking in vitality an unusual fault with his 
earlier hymns. But very likely I may be prejudiced 
by my liking for some of his other Eucharistic 
hymns. 

" The doxology to ' Angels from the realms of 
glory' we took from Chope's Book of Carols ; I 
thought it was a good finish to the hymn. 

" I like rather the ' Alleluia dulce carmen ' coming 
before Septuagesima. For though, of course, the 
change does not really come till Lent, there always 
has been a subordinate change at Septuagesima. 

1 F. S. Pierpoint, author of the favourite hymn, " For the 
beauty of the earth," Children's Hymn-Book, 256. 



THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND HYMN-BOOK 97 

The Christmas cycle of festivals comes to an end 
with Purification, and of Sundays with the last 
after Epiphany. Then the days are reckoned 
backwards from Easter. Septuagesima is a new 
start, and in places where they change altar-cloths 
I suppose the Lenten colours always begin at 
Septuagesima ; and it seems to me the hymns 
ought to be arranged on a similar cycle. Historic- 
ally, too, the hymn is a memorial of the fact that 
' Alleluia ' was discontinued when Septuagesima 
began ; the substitute being ' Praise ye,' etc. A 
curious thing, by the way, that the Hebrew words 
should have to our fathers a festal ring about them 
which the vernacular translation did not have. But 
I suppose it was the association with the triumphal 
songs of Revelation. 

" I am so very sorry to hear of your watery 
calamities. We have been comparatively unscathed, 
not quite, but nearly so. Kind remembrances 
to all. 

" Ever yours sincerely, 

"JOHN ELLERTON." 

The CJiurch of England Hymn-Book, adapted to 
tJie Daily Services of the Church throughout the 
Year, was published in 1882. Dr. Julian speaks 
of it in terms of the highest commendation, higher 
indeed than of any of its competitors ; and had not 
Hymns Ancient and Modern been before it in the 
field, and already taken deep root, it is more than 
possible that Mr. Thring's book would have become 
the leading Hymnal in the Church of England. 

It has been seen, then, that between 1876 and 

G 



98 JOHN ELLERTON 

1884, that is, the eight years of his residence at 
Barnes, Mr. Ellerton completed Church Hymns, 
with its Notes and Illustrations ; the Children s 
Hymn-Book ; to say nothing of the assistance he 
rendered to other hymnals, especially the Hymnal 
Companion and Hymns Ancient and Modern. When 
it is remembered that all this, and much more, was 
done, not in the quiet leisure of some cathedral 
close, or even of a country living, but amid the 
incessant calls and interruptions of a populous 
suburban parish, where the writer of these lines 
was his only curate, entailing long night vigils, for 
the day gave him but scant time for literary work, 
it is no marvel that at last he broke down under 
the burden. A severe attack of pleurisy in the 
cold spring of 1884 completely prostrated him, and 
for a time the issue was very doubtful. By God's 
mercy, however, he rose from his bed of danger, 
but he knew that he could no longer work as he 
had worked. He resigned the Rectory of Barnes, 
and leaving England in the autumn, sought rest 
and health first at Veytaux, near Chillon, over- 
looking the lake of Geneva, finally accepting the 
winter chaplaincy of Pegli. 



CHAPTER V 

1884, 1885 

SWITZERLAND AND ITALY 
Veytaux Pegli An Italian Poor-House 

IN the autumn of 1884 Mr. Ellerton left England 
to seek rest and recreation in Switzerland. His 
first stay was at Veytaux at the extreme eastern 
end of the Lake of Geneva, near Montreux, to the 
winter chaplaincy of which he had been appointed 
by the S. P. G. There, amid lovely scenery, and 
health-restoring breezes from mountain and lake, 
he soon recovered much of his former strength and 
cheerfulness. With the burden of Barnes off his 
shoulders, and feeling that his many years of un- 
remitting labours in hymnology were bearing good 
fruit in Church Hymns and the Children's Hymn- 
Book, both of which had been successfully launched, 
he felt that he had earned his holiday, and was 
determined to enjoy it thoroughly. 

His first impressions of Veytaux may be gathered 
from the following extract from a letter to one of 
his sons at home : " As for the walks, they are 
endless, and ever fresh in deliciousness. Each day 
reveals some new vision of mountain glory, and the 
99 



100 JOHN ELLERTON 

very road into Montreux is never twice alike. More- 
over, there are charming groups of picturesque 
chalets, fountains, wood, and rock at every turn ; but 
to say that is only to say that this is Switzerland. 
There is, too, a novelty about all manners and 
customs that is always amusing. The people are 
neither bureau-ridden nor priest-ridden, nor drilled 
into obedience ; there is a curious * Fais-ce-que-voul- 
dras ' way of doing among them, and yet a great deal 
of accuracy and regularity in all business matters, 
which I suppose finds its parallel in America, but 
which is new to me : e.g. Chillon is the * Wands- 
worth Gaol ' of the canton ; but being also a ' Tower 
of London/ and a great show place, people walk in 
and out from morning till night, and especially on 
Sundays, when all nationalities lounge into the 
prison chapel when service is going on. One of 
the 'prisoners of Chillon/ probably a Swiss Mr. 
Sykes, objected to attending church in consequence 
of not liking his 'uniform' to be noticed by 
strangers ; whereupon the Governor considerately 
lent him a Sunday suit ! " 

The following charming letter will also be read 
with interest ; it is Veytaux seen through a poet's 
eyes : 

" Veytaux, Oct. 28, 1884. 

" MY DEAR 

". . . . As to the place itself, it is inde- 
scribable. How can I give you an impression of 
these hills of the Chablais, St. Francis de Sales' old 
diocese the ' Alps of Savoy ' as they have been 
called, which confront me every time I lift my 
eyes from the paper ; and which, whether glowing 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY IOI 

in the morning sun, or veiled and wreathed with folds 
of soft white cloud, or gleaming in the moonlight, or 
dark and stern with their tempest-scarred precipices 
and streaks and sheets of snow, are ever changing, 
ever beautiful, ever fresh to us ? How can I tell you 
of the view up the lake, with colours indescribable 
the grey old castle rising sheer out of the bluest of 
water, with little white waves washing its walls 
the wooded hills, in such hues of scarlet, purple, 
crimson, and gold as no paint-brush could draw 
the stern pine-clad ridge behind the Rhone 
valley opening up at the head of the lake, with the 
central distance filled with the most beautiful of all 
the mountains, the seven-topped ' mystery,' wonder- 
ful * Dent du Midi ' ? How can I draw to you the 
strange contrast as we turn to the right, and look 
westward down the lake, of vineyard and white 
villas, and spires, and chalets hanging on the green 
hill-side, sunny smiling land edging the great lake 
far into the dim distance, where we just catch the 
long grey ridge of the Jura the barrier that parts 
us from the north, and home, and all familiar 
things ? Or how can I tell you of the hundreds of 
bits of beauty which every walk opens out, quaint 
villages with their chalets hanging one above 
another, women nursing their babies in the carved 
wooden balconies, or carrying them strapped to a 
pillow in the glory of their Sunday best the road- 
side fountains with their tiny troughs of ever- 
running and deliciously clear water, with two or 
three old cronies gossiping and washing their linen 
around them ; the old church on a magnificent 
rock, which goes sheer down from the churchyard 



102 JOHN ELLERTON 

wall ; its churchyard planted beautifully, and with 
seats commanding oh ! such a view ; the roses and 
fuchsias and scarlet salvias still in full bloom, in the 
many gardens which hang on the hill-side. No, it 
is only heaping words together that mean nothing. 
I don't think I can make any one fancy it. 

" I send you the French hymn l which I have 
copied out from the hymn-book used in the 
Swiss National Church of this canton. It is by 
Vinet, the greatest man by far of modern French 
and Swiss Protestantism, whose words, you may 
remember, are the striking motto of Maurice's 
Theological Essays. It was a great comfort to 
me when I found it on my arrival here, very 
depressed and weary, hardly able to find comfort 
even from Nature, in the glory which she wears 

here. K has heard from C , who seems to 

be full of the influence of that wonderful Rome. 
Shall I ever see it ? I don't know. Even St. Paul 
wanted to ' see Rome.' " 

From Veytaux he was summoned, evidently 
much against his will, to take the winter chaplaincy 
at Pegli, near Genoa. The following characteristic 
letter to his friend, Professor Henry Attwell of 
Barnes, shows that although he would rather have 
stayed at Veytaux, he was quite disposed to make 
the best of and enjoy to the utmost his new 
surroundings. To be on Italian ground was a new 
experience to him, and with his mind so full as it 
was of power to appreciate everything that was 

1 Beginning, " Pourquoi reprendre, O Pere tendre, 
Les biens dont Tu nvas couronne ? " 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY IO3 

beautiful in nature and art, and every historical 
association, it is no wonder that when once settled, 
he enjoyed the change thoroughly. 

" Casa Puppo, Pegli, Gcnova, Italia, 

"/an. 21, 1885. 

"Mv DEAR PROFESSOR, 

" The snowstorm which has blocked 
Mont Cenis has not only kept our children from 
joining us, but has kept us for some days separate 
from all English letters and papers. Last night, 
however, a telegram reached us from Veytaux, and 
I hope that this letter will make its way to you in 
a day or two without unusual delay. Let it bring 
you not only all good wishes for 1885, but most 
cordial thanks to you for your most welcome New 
Year's letter, and for the valued MS. from Max 
Miiller, which has caused you so much kind trouble ; 
and of which more anon. 

"You will be glad to hear that we are safely 
lodged on a ' piano ' in a respectable Italian house, 
not exactly in sight of the Mediterranean, at least 
not on its shore, but in full southern sunshine, and 
with many elements of interest and enjoyment. 
We have pretty views both of the sea and the 
Apennines from the Piano above. The S. P. G. 
Secretary summoned me hither in rather a head- 
long way from Veytaux, and at first there was 
everything to make the contrast emphatically 
disagreeable. We came from those ever-delightful 
mountains to the suburbs of a busy Italian city, 1 
from chalets picturesque in spite of themselves, 
1 i. c. Genoa. 



104 JOHN ELLERTON 

where every shed and every fountain was a picture, 
to rows of hideously-painted and colour-washed 
tall houses ; from a very happy and congenial 
group of English exiles, whom Christmas had 
drawn together into a very pleasant intimacy, to a 
huge barrack of a German hotel, built for some 
hundred and twenty, and holding only the odd 
twenty, among whom we were literally the only 
English I had almost said the only English- 
speaking people, but for some pleasant Dutch folk 
who took to us rather than the Germans, and talked 
English to us ; from a large congregation in church 
and cheerful services to a little empty church 
of our own. But all that is over ; and the 
gloomy weather, which made us feel as if the 
Sea of all history met us with a scowl, has given 
place to .sunshine, which, despite the ' tramontana,' 
makes us feel that we are south of the Alps. And 
as all our strange surroundings become by degrees 
familiar, we feel that it is quite possible we may 
grow so to like them as to be quite sorry when we 
have to leave. Genoa itself is irresistible in its 
attractions ; the talk about its dazzling beauty may 
be rather * tall,' and its palazzi may represent a 
good deal of tasteless luxury ; but still there they 
are, these streets of marble buildings, all teeming 
to this hour with busy life ; for the great names 
of past Genoese history are still to-day the names 
of men who build factories, launch ships, speculate 
on companies, and amass wealth to an extent 
which rivals what one hears of American million- 
aires. And really if Jay Gould lived in a house built 
for his family in Queen Elizabeth's days, hung with 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY IO$ 

portraits by Van Dyck of seventeenth century 
Goulds, one might inconsistently perhaps, but ex- 
cusably think his money-making a little more re- 
spectable. But anyhow Italy at least this Northern 
Italy is all alive. People who have known it for 
thirty years say the change is simply marvellous. 
The beggary, the rags, the bare feet, the lazy 
lounging, the filth of which one has heard I rub 
my eyes and ask where they are ? On an average 
one meets two beggars a day ; everybody has 
good boots and stockings ; there are handsome 
State schools close to this, filled with children 
schools where at stated hours the clergy are allowed 
to teach. Our lodgings are delightfully clean 
1 heating ' quite superfluous ! the cookery better 
than at Veytaux, and I don't think that six francs 
per head a day, which includes two bottles of 
excellent wine, is extortionate. Of course there 
are drawbacks ; the villas of the rich, and the big 
barracks of houses in which the working people 
live are more hideous than can be conceived ; the 
universal practice of hanging out of window all day 
every shred of clothing not on the person is whole- 
some, but not even picturesque ; and of course one's 
nose is occasionally as much annoyed as one's 
eyes. And Pegli is not exactly a Paradise, though 
my church is overshadowed by a palm instead of a 
yew-tree, and oranges hang from the trees in every 
cottage garden in golden glory. I hope we shall be 
very happy when we are all together again, till we are 
released from duty here, and perhaps enabled to take 
one peep at Florence before coming north again. 
" I was saddened and shocked at the instant of 



106 JOHN ELLERTON 

leaving Veytaux by the news of Bishop Jackson's 
sudden death, for all my personal recollections of 
him are most happy. Inconspicuous as a public 
man, he yet won the deep respect of men like 
Tait and Lightfoot, indeed something like enthu- 
siastic affection from the latter, and in his home 
circle, and among his neighbours, he always 
seemed a most perfect Christian gentleman. I 
wish the Premier well over his hard task of selecting 
his successor ; perhaps by this time it is all over. 

" I have very much enjoyed the extracts from 
Max Miiller which you have been good enough to 
copy for me. The tribute to Stanley is touching 
and interesting, and I am sure describes what he 
was from Max Muller's point of view. The earlier 
letter is also most interesting. All such papers 
help one to understand and to love many who are 
far off from us now in thought, but who will doubt- 
less one day come from East and West and sit 
down at the Eternal Feast of the Kingdom of 
God, while some of us children of the Kingdom 
find ourselves in darkness after all. If I fail to see 
that Max Miiller realizes the absolute uniqueness 
of our Lord, a uniqueness which I think myself 
nothing but the Catholic hypothesis accounts for, 
yet I feel he has grasped some of the leading 
ideas of Christ's teaching as to the Father and 
Himself, with a force all the more striking because 
he approaches the question from his own special 
point of view, that of the historian of religious 
ideas. And he is right about the perpetual danger 
of orthodox people lapsing into Tritheism, as well 
as about the unreality and baseness of much 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY IO/ 

orthodox devotional language addressed to Christ, 
language which paves the way for parallel addresses 
to Mary, such as In te salus nostra est, which is 
under a crowned Madonna not many yards from 
this house. This comes of forgetting the teaching 
of Christ's own prayer. 

" With love to Mrs. Attwell and all your circle, 
'< Believe me ever, my dear Professor, 
" Affectionately yours, 

"JOHN ELLERTON. 

" Scraps from London papers always most 
welcome above all in this land." 

The following beautiful poem not a hymn in 
the strict sense of the word included in his Hymns 
Original and Translated, is inserted here as show- 
ing how his heart overflowed with love and gratitude 
to his Heavenly Master for the rest and peace he 
was enjoying. 

HYMN OF THE WORKER ON A HOLIDAY. 

Here in this peaceful time and place of rest, 

I lift my thoughts, dear Master, unto Thee ; 

Seeking in calm repose upon Thy breast 

Some gracious pledge that Thou art come with me. 

Thou too hast known the thronging of the crowd, 
The ' many coming ' as the hours went by, 
The weary head in deep exhaustion bowed, 
The broken sleep, the sudden midnight cry. 

All these were Thine, O Bearer of our woes ; 
No rest for Thee our suffering manhood gave ; 
Through Thy three years no leisure for repose, 
Till that last Sabbath in Thy garden-grave ! 



IOS JOHN ELLERTON 

Yet Thy compassion knows my feebler frame, 
Mine is the rest my Master would not take ; 
And if my work indeed be in Thy Name, 
These quiet hours are hallowed for Thy sake. 

Thou art with me ; as when Thy Twelve returned 
And poured their tale of labours at Thy Feet, 
Thy pitying Eye their weariness discerned. 
Thy Love provided them some still retreat. 

With Thee they climbed the gorge whence Jordan falls, 
Saw Hermon's snowpeaks glow with dawn's red fire, 
And watched, beneath the heathen's broken walls, 
The blue sea whitening on the shores of Tyre. 

Thou lovedst Thy fair land ; the solitudes 
Of her grey hills, fit home for musings high ; 
Spring with her glowing flowers and nestling broods, 
The moonlit garden and the sunset sky. 

Nor these alone ; for Thou didst condescend 
The joys of human fellowship to share, 
The simple welcome of some village friend, 
Mary's deep gladness, Martha's loving care. 

In toil, in leisure, I may learn of Thee ; 
Keep Thee beside me in my mountain walk, 
Set to Thy Name the music of the sea, 
And open all my heart in voiceless talk. 

So when Thy call shall bid me to return 
With strength renewed, to labour in my place, 
My lips shall overflow, my heart shall burn 
With new revealings of Thy boundless grace. 

Pegli, Feb. 1885. 

While in the neighbourhood of Genoa Mr. 
Ellerton often paid visits to that city. He knew 
that in the Poor-house there was to be seen Michael 
Angelo's incomparable Pietd, and thus he describes 
it; 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY 



"AN ITALIAN POOR-HOUSE 

" High on the hillside above the city of Genoa, 

surrounded by broad roads and wealthy private 

houses, stands a stately building, which might be a 

Royal Palace. Its stairs, its pavements, its long 

pillared corridors, are of white marble ; from the 

broad terrace in front you look down upon the 

great harbour crowded with vessels of all countries, 

upon the lighthouses, the churches, and busy 

streets of the famous ' City of Palaces/ and then 

the encircling arms of blue mountains clasping the 

bluer sea. Over the door is a shield with that cross 

of St. George which it is said England borrowed 

from Genoa in the old crusading days. On a 

marble tablet a long Latin inscription tells, in 

rather pompous language, what levelling of rock and 

filling up of valley and diverting the channel of the 

mountain stream were undergone at the expense of 

the citizens before this splendid building could 

be raised, and of the vast sums it cost to make it 

what we see it. Inside, the halls and passages and 

landings are filled with statues and busts of the 

greatest and wealthiest of Genoese merchant princes 

and prelates. Yet no king or duke or noble ever 

inhabited it. These men are commemorated here 

because they were benefactors to the poor. This 

marble palace is the proud city's home for her 

paupers. In England we should call it a workhouse; 

in Italy they call it by a kindlier name, the ' Alb ergo 

del Poveri,' that is, the Hostelry or Inn of the Poor. 



1 10 JOHN ELLERTON 

" I enter with the friend who has undertaken to 
show me over the building ; he tells me the strange 
story of its erection. 

" Some two hundred years ago there was a great 
famine in the city of Genoa. Multitudes died, and 
whole families begged their bread starving in the 
streets. The compassion of the city was aroused ; 
it was determined to provide a home for the poor, 
where for ever after they should be lodged, fed, and 
clothed. Large sums were contributed, and the 
site was cleared after the fashion described in the 
inscription. When all was ready to begin the 
building, another grievous calamity befell Genoa 
a terrible pestilence. People died faster than ground 
could be provided to bury them. There was no 
available space outside the walls but this which 
was already set apart for the Home of the Poor. 
This ground then became the last resting-place of 
the plague-stricken. Nine thousand corpses were 
buried upon the hill-side. Years passed on, and 
at last it was thought safe to resume the work ; and 
over the resting-place of the dead arose, after long 
delay, the marble Palace of the Poor. 

" It is a great square with a cross intersecting it. 
One side is set apart for men, and the other for 
women. It is planned for 1800 inmates, and about 
1 200 are now inhabiting it. They are admitted upon 
the recommendation of some respectable person, 
about this no difficulty is made ; and once admitted, 
they are provided for till death, from the funds of 
the Institution. There is little comfort, according 
to our English notions ; and in winter the cold is 
intense, for Genoa is scourged by bitter north winds 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY III 

from the mountains, and no provision is made for 
warming the vast passages and stairs. In summer 
it must be pleasant enough ; and the old men and 
women sun themselves, as Italians love to do, in 
the many balconies on which their windows open, 
and look out upon the gardens, and the city, and 
the mountains, and the sea. 

" In the centre of the whole building is the chapel. 
Thither my friend led me, saying, ' There is one 
thing only which you must look at here ; keep your 
mind undistracted for that.' So we stopped before 
an altar, behind which, let into the wall, is a circle 
of marble about two feet across. Before this we 
stood long, hushed and awe-struck. Two heads 
only, that of the dead Saviour and the mourning 
Mother bending over Him, as she supports Him on 
her arm. Her face is very quiet, there is no 
theatrical display of grief; she is not meant to 
attract you by her beauty, though a beauty beyond 
description seems to pass from the face to your 
heart as you look. The Christ lies dead ; the damp 
of death seems almost to stand upon His brow, but 
all pain and agony are passed out of it. It seems 
as if the mother's face had grown calm by long 
gazing into His. The sword has pierced her soul, 
but already the wound has begun to heal. It is 
not yet Hope, but it is perfect Peace even in the 
deepest depth of her darkness. The accompanying 
illustration, from a photograph taken from the 
original, may help to illustrate my description it 
can do no more. 

" The history of this piece of sculpture is unknown, 
except that it belonged to a great Cardinal long 



112 JOHN ELLERTON 

ago, and that at his death his family gave it to the 
Home of the Poor. It is often said to be by the 
great Michael Angelo, but no one really knows. 
The Italians have had a careful copy made of it, and 
placed in the new Museum of Michael Angelo's 
works at Florence. In England I am afraid the 
original would have been sold for the benefit of the 
Hospital Funds, and the copy left in the chapel. 
But it is not so here. And surely of all the gifts 
that in her proud and ostentatious munificence this 
city of palaces has lavished upon her poor, one of 
the kindest and tenderest was this, the setting up 
where these old men and women creep in daily to 
pray to God, this precious memorial of the sorrow 
which none other sorrow was like, which has purified, 
hallowed, and transformed all other, to turn it at 
last into joy." l 

In April Mr. Ellerton and his family left Pegli, 
but before turning homeward he seized the oppor- 
tunity of visiting Florence. The impressions which 
that city itself a poem made upon his poetic 
mind are best gathered from his own words in the 
following letter : 



To A FRIEND IN VENICE. 

" Florence, April 22, 1885. 



MY DEAR 



* Yes, it is nice to think 

that you and I clasp hands in Italy, and hear the 

same soft language, and see the same dark faces, 

full of pathos or mischief, or anything but stolid 

1 Dawn of Day > Oct. 1885. 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY 1 13 

content or dull weariness ; and see great buildings 
and famous pictures, and are living through the 
Past of great historic cities, under this cloudless 
sky and this bright moonlight. And as I saw 
sunset on Fiesole and on Giotto's Tower, and the 
lovely Campanile, where the old 'Vacca' of the 
Palazzo Vecchio still hangs, so you saw it perhaps 
on St. George of the Seaweed, or on the doves of 
St. Mark, and the long fretwork of the Ducal 
Palace. How shall we match the two Queens 
against one another Arno against Adria ! But I 
won't give up my Lady of the Flowers even for 
your Queen of the Sea ! Never was so fair a gem 
in so beautiful a setting. You will be able to tell 
how impossible it is to describe, when one is simply 
overwhelmed with all one sees. To sit in the awful 
Baptistery where Dante was baptized, and look up 
at the great mosaics of Christ enthroned, and the 
dead rising to judgment, as his baby eyes saw 
them ; to see sunrise and sunset and moonlight on 
Giotto's Tower such a wonder of colour as nothing 
can paint ; to go from church to church covered 
with those great mosaics which take hours to 
appreciate one had rather say days ; to see with 
one's own eyes the places sacred to such immortal 
memories ; to stand in the Loggia dei Lanzi and 
think of that awful Palm Sunday, and that still 
more awful June day in the great square below ; 
to people with one multitude the vast area of the 
empty Duomo where the Prophet l so often spoke ; 
to stand by the graves of Pico and Galileo, and 
Antonino, and Michael Angelo no ! there can be 

1 Savonarola. 

H 



114 JOHN ELLERTON 

no place like Florence. And then there are the 
Galleries, of which we have as yet seen only three 
or four rooms of one, and that contains more 
precious things than I ever saw before. I really 
don't know where to begin. I think, however, 
some distinct impressions are coming upon me. 

" First, of the wonderful greatness of Giotto. He 
is as saintly as Fra Angelico, and far more human. 
Oh that you could see his fresco in Santa Croce of the 
spirit of St. John rising up to join the Blessed One 
so many years parted from him. The friends and 
disciples are looking into the open grave, in quiet, 
peaceful sorrow, knowing all is well, but feeling 
that the last of the Apostles is gone, and the first 
age of the Church is over. But one looks up in 
faith, and this is what he sees : the old man's form 
is being drawn upward, with such a look of peace 
and joy and love upon his face, which says, 'At 
last I am to be with Him and see Him again.' 
And from heaven He stretches down in very 
human love, holding out both hands to welcome 
John, as one would welcome a dear friend or brother 
coming home from abroad. And behind Him are 
the other ten James's young face looking over 
His shoulder Peter almost inclined to press 
forward even before his Master, but keeping back, 
only thrusting his arms out saying, ' Dear John, I 
must have the next embrace ' ; it brings happy 
tears to one's eyes. Scarcely less lovely are the 
two I have just seen at S. M. Novella, the Joachim 
and Anna, and the Birth of Mary the sweet, 
placid baby face, and the nurse and servants 
wondering at the little thing ; and the old Mother 



SWITZERLAND AND ITALY 115 

lying pale and with half-shut eyes, but so happy 
and thankful, with her cheek on her hand. Cimabue's 
Madonna is very hard to see, but it is indeed 
worthy to make the street where it was painted the 
Borgo Allegro. 

" We are working very slowly, but as thoroughly 
as we can ; resting for two or three hours at mid- 
day, and only walking or strolling in the evening, 
for the mornings are tiring. We are putting off 
San Marco till Sunday, finding each of the greater 
churches more than enough for a day, and there is 
so much ! S. M. Novella alone would fill volumes of 
lovely photographs, were it possible to photograph 
all, and Santa Croce another. Except the great 
statues and a few Titians, we have as yet seen no 
art that is not Florentine. What a place ! 

"Well, I must stop now, for we must go for our 
drive. Tell me all about Carpaccio's Sta. Ursula, 
the Paradise, and the Scuola di San Rocco 
especially'' 

In May 1885 the party returned to England, and 
shortly after his arrival Mr. Ellerton, vastly reno- 
vated in mind and body by his delightful visit 
to the continent, was presented by Sir Spencer 
Maryon Wilson, Bart, to the Rectory of White 
Roding, Essex. 



CHAPTER VI 
18851893 

WHITE ROBING 

Hymns Ancient and Modern The Last Hymns The Close 

SHORTLY after his return from the continent Mr. 
Ellerton was presented to the Rectory of White 
Roding, one of the nine villages to which the 
Roding gives its name 1 as it winds between the 
hills and flats of Essex to join the Thames near 
Barking. This piece of preferment he owed to the 
kind mediation of his old friend and fellow-worker, 
Bishop Walsham How, who represented to Sir 
Spencer Maryon Wilson, the patron, that "the best 
living hymn-writer," as he himself calls him, was at 
that time without a benefice. 

White Roding is a scattered parish lying on a 
bleak Essex hill, amid scenery totally devoid of 
any special interest, and being five miles from 
Sawbridgeworth, on the Great Eastern Railway, 
the nearest station, was inconveniently situated for 
a literary man. The rectory is a substantial old 

1 Roding-Abbess, Roding Aythorpe, Roding-Beauchamp, 
Roding-Berners, High Roding, Leaden Roding, Margaret 
Roding, and White Roding, with its hamlet Morrell Roding. 
116 



WHITE RODING II? 

house, with a large garden surrounded on three 
sides by a moat, and the church stands close by, its 
little spire forming a landmark for many a desolate 
mile. But the new rector rejoiced in the place as 
affording a welcome retreat after the toil and turmoil 
of populous Barnes. The demands of the parish 
on his time were not excessive, leaving him leisure 
to devote his pen more freely than before to the 
service of the Church. 

In a very charming and characteristic letter to 
his friend, Professor Attwell of Barnes, he thus 
describes his new home : 

" The Rectory, White Roothing, Dunmoiu, 
"July 15, 1885. 

" MY DEAR PROFESSOR, 

" I have deprived myself of a pleasure 
in neglecting so long to write to you, for your last 
letter was provocative of a reply, and I hope this 
will bring me before long another in return. 

" I am rapidly discovering the pleasure of return- 
ing to my old vocation of a country parson ; and 
certainly this delightful summer weather presents 
the life to us all on its brightest side. It is very 
pleasant to have what I have always longed to 
have an old church with some historical interest 
about it, and thoroughly English looking ; and I 
never see its shingled spire peeping through the 
elms and limes, or its grey tower with a foreground 
of corn-fields and a background of dark trees, with- 
out a fresh pleasure in thinking of it as something 
full of true English beauty and charm, of which 
one can never tire. We delight also in our green 



IlS JOHN ELLERTON 

and very unconventional garden, just one of those 
which arose before people knew how to separate 
use from beauty, or to fancy they could be separated; 
so that you scarcely know where your roses end and 
your cabbages begin. The greater part of the 
house is I should think seventeenth century, one or 
two rooms perhaps older, with a very ugly but com- 
fortable addition made some thirty-five years ago 
by an old rector a great Evangelical and Calvin ist 
light in his day, the Rev. Henry Budd, of whose 
(successive) wives, nightcap, sermons, tithe-taking, 
and perambulations of the parish there are many 
stories. Evidently a very worthy, pious, simple- 
minded old man, with a propensity for writing 
somewhat Johnsonian epitaphs upon his wives, 
curates, and parishioners. In 1877 my excellent 
predecessor, Jacob North, a scholarly, liberal-minded, 
genial man, and a very admirable clergyman, came 
with his wife and family. He soon lost his sight ; 
but his mind directed everything, and his children 
were the saving of the parish. Their personal 
influence upon old and young, and their indefatig- 
able energy in both work and play, were the 
greatest blessing to the place. 

" We like our neighbours very much I 

need scarcely say they are all very shy of my 
alleged politics, but I think I am beginning to 
reassure them. Our Conservative candidate is a 
more than respectable member of the party, Sir 
H. Selwin Ibbetson, a very typical good squire, 
church restorer, master of hounds, and a most 
kindly and considerate landlord to his poorest 
cottagers just the man one would look to see 



WHITE ROBING 11$ 

among these quiet old-world villages and comfort- 
able farm-houses. It requires an effort to call to 
mind that the men who seek to represent us in 
Essex are not typical embodiments of the principles 
at stake. In fact, I never felt more independent of 
party sympathies, I think, than now. 

" I have been rather too busy with housing books 
to have time to read them of late. My old friend 
Dr. Hort came here for two nights at the close of 
term, and brought with him Harnack's pamphlet 
about the now famous Faioum fragment, the fac- 
simile of which he showed me, as well as some 
interesting photographs of the ' Didache.' He is 
strongly of opinion that Bickell's fragment, if it 
is indeed third century, is a fragment not of 
a 'Gospel' properly so-called, but either of a 
collection of Logia, or sayings of our Lord, or else 
a treatise in which the writer certainly cites the 
narrative, from memory, in a purposely abridged 
form. He relies a good deal on the substitution 
of the ordinary words for ' cock ' and ' crow ' for the 
less usual indeed almost unique ones employed 
by the Synoptists ; just what a man would do 
who was writing from memory, and had to mention 
the conversation. He was very much edified by 
the Times describing Harnack as a ' fervid Roman 
Catholic.' Bickell is, I believe, a convert to Rome, 
but Harnack, though I believe rather ' fervid ' as 
a critic, is a very decided Protestant indeed. 

" I have just read rapidly about half the first vol. 
of Croker's Correspondence a case in which the 
typical Georgian office-jobber does, I fear, show 
through all the whitewash still. But it raises one's 



120 JOHN ELLERTON 

impression of Croker's shrewdness and ability. I 
hope you will get the book, if only for a deliciously 
witty letter from Peel about Babbage's calculating 
machine. Pattison and Mozley I have not yet 
seen, being not yet en rapport with Mudie again, 
but only with an old-fashioned so-called ' Clerical ' 
Book Club, which gives one but barren fare." 

Again, in a letter to the writer of these lines, 
he says, " I have said nothing of the house, which 
is an odd, rambling old place, with, however, an 
excellent drawing-room and dining-room, and a 
quaint little den for myself where I am writing, of 
course with a cat on the chair beside me, and with 
the door open on a sunny lawn. The garden is 
most delightful, and quite took me by surprise. 
It is very rough and old-fashioned, but I hope we 
shall make a Trapadao-os l of it by a fair amount of 
Adam and Eve's work. As my predecessor good 
and holy man as he was lost his sight, and his 
wife and daughters were absorbed in curate's work, 
the house and garden have suffered a good deal of 
late, but I hope we shall be able to get them in 
a tidy state without neglecting the parish." 

To his great delight he found the church pro- 
vided with a very good organ. The choir was 
mixed, and it was a pretty sight to see the village 
maidens in their white choir dresses in the front 
row, with the boys and men in surplices behind. 

By this time 1885 his hymn-work was practi- 
cally done. CJiurcJi Hymns had been completed 
in 1 88 1, and the Children's Hymn-Book the same 
year. All the hymns on which his fame mainly 
1 Paradise. 



WHITE RODING 121 

rests had now been written, and henceforward his 
work was chiefly correspondence with other editors, 
and the occasional writing of a hymn. The com- 
pilers of Hymns Ancient and Modern had frequently 
consulted him, but it was not until the preparation 
of the "Complete Edition" was in hand that he 
became one of the Committee. His leisure was 
now devoted mainly to prose, and it was at White 
Roding that he wrote The Great Indwelling, or 
Thoughts on tJie Relation of Holy Communion to 
the Spiritual Life, a work small in volume but 
full of deepest insight into the mystery on which 
it meditates. It contains too the graceful little 
poems on ' The old in their relation to the young,' 
' Down the lane at evening time', and a sonnet on 
' The evening service of Man,' beginning 

" I would not linger idly by the strand 
Of that dim water which I soon shall pass." 

It was here too that he composed The Twilight 
of Life, his De Senectute, as he playfully called 
it, " full of helpful and cheering thoughts on the 
special conditions, trials, encouragements, and 
blessings of advancing life, and rich in bright and 
beautiful teaching founded on Holy Scripture and 
reason on the hope of reunion with our beloved 
ones in the world above." x The book, published 
by Cassells, is considerately printed in large 
type. He also about this time made his translation 
of Thomas a Kempis's Imitation of Christ. But 
the largest and most important work at White 
Roding was his editing the Manual of Parochial 

1 Obituary notice in The Christian Age, June 28, 1893. 



122 JOHN ELLERTON 

Work, a series of articles "by writers who have 
special knowledge or experience in the subjects of 
which they treat." 1 Of the twenty-nine chapters 
or sections which the book contains, six, and part 
of a seventh, are from his own pen. It was pub- 
lished in 1888, and has had, we believe, a large sale. 
Occasionally Canon Ellerton would allow his 
muse to lead him into other fields than those 
devoted to hymns. He could when he chose write 
very elegant sonnets, two of which are given here. 
The earliest is written in a volume of Keble's ser- 
mons given to his wife ; the other is a New Year's 
greeting to his friends from White Roding. 

C. A. E. FEB. 18, 1875. 
TAKE, dearest, this, thy Lenten thoughts to guide, 

The precious words of Hursley's well-loved saint : 

Not here the Poet, weaving garlands quaint 
Of verse devout, for every holy tide ; 
Not here the Champion, on his Master's side, 

Skilful to ply his Logic's keen-edged sword, 

Stern to avenge the honour of his Lord ; 
Not here the Scholar, gathering far and wide 

The classic lore which once he held so dear : 
This is the Pastor, yearning o'er his flock, 
To call them to the shadow of the Rock . 

Still from his rest those accents calm and clear 
Tell of the Narrow Way which led him there, 
The Cross borne for us, and the Cross we bear. 

"We wish you Good Luck in the Name of the Lord." Psalm cxxix. 3. 

O FRIENDS, from under skies of ashen grey 
What tokens can we send you o'er the snow, 
While not a flower as yet has leave to blow, 

And early we shut out the short dark day ? 

1 Preface. 



WHITE ROBING 123 

Yet thoughts are free through curtained panes to go 
And find you out and bring you unawares 
Memories of brighter days, and silent prayers, 
With power, methinks, to set your heart aglow. 
Fain would we send you, ere the year expire, 
Some word that tells you of our hearts' desire. 
Hark ! from their tower the midnight bells proclaim 
In changing tones the One Unchanging Name: 
Then in that Name, O friends, both far and near, 
Good luck we wish you in the new-born year. 

So far back as 1870, while Mr. Ellerton was at 
Crewe Green, he had been applied to by the Rev. 
E. H. Bickersteth, now Bishop of Exeter, for per- 
mission to insert his hymn, "Saviour, again," in 
the first edition of the Hymnal Companion. His 
letter in reply is well worth preserving, as it 
shows his opinion on the frequently discussed 
question respecting the guarding of hymns by 
copyright. 

" Crewe Green, Crewe, 

"Jan. 31, 1870. 
" MY DEAR SIR, 

" You are most welcome to use the hymn 
you mention. The new S. P. C. K. Appendix has 
the longer form of it, but I shortened and revised 
it for Sir Henry Baker, and I think the shorter 
form is the better, but you can choose either. 

" Thank you much for your own hymns. Some 
of them I know well, others are new to me. 

" I entirely sympathize in your feeling about 
hymns as a gift to the Church of Christ. If one 
is counted worthy to contribute to His praise in 
the congregation, one ought to feel very thankful, 
and very humble. So any of my hymns which are 



124 JOHN ELLERTON 

in my own power I always give freely, but a few 
have been written for friends and at their request, 
and these I cannot dispose of. I am also busy 
with two friends in compiling a book, and of course 
those of my writing or translating which are done 
for that book are joint property. However, I am 
glad to say that the hymn you approve of is free 
to any who ask for it. 

" I am, my dear sir, 

" Yours very faithfully, 
"JOHN ELLERTON. 

The success which attended the first and second 
editions of the Hymnal Companion led in 1889 to 
the preparation of a third, and again we find the 
right reverend compiler applying to Mr. Ellerton 
for permission to make a still larger use of his 
hymns than before. The following is the answer 
which the Bishop received : 



" TJie Rectory, White Roding, 

" April 24, 1889. 

" MY DEAR LORD BISHOP, 

" I thank you very much for the kind way 
in which you have put your request for more of 
my hymns. Your judgment respecting them is a 
great solace to me, for I know that your Lordship 
can enter into the feelings with which some of 
them were written ; and that you know how often 
one's own hymns rise up in condemnation of one's 
coldness and faithlessness. So that there are times 
when it does really cheer one for a Father in God 
to say, ' I think God helped you to write that, and 



WHITE RODING 12$ 

I think He has made it a blessing to one and 
another.' 

" I need hardly say how gladly I would place at 
your Lordship's disposal any of my hymns which 
you think useful. I never have made any of them 
copyright, so that the Hymns Ancient and Modern 
compilers will have no reason to complain of your 
selecting from the Appendix the two you mention 
in addition to the others. The text in the supple- 
ment to Hymns Ancient and Modern contains a few 
variations which I shall be glad if your Lordship 
will look upon as my latest revision of them. That 
for teachers originally began, 

* Break Thou to us, O Lord, 
The Bread of Life to-day,' 

but I think that is an inappropriate use of our 
Lord's metaphor, which is never applied to teaching, 
so that I have altered it. 1 

" I am writing to Skeffington to ask him to send 
your Lordship my little volume of collected hymns, 
which I hope you will do me the kindness to 
accept, in return for much enjoyment of yours. I 
am most grateful for those you have been so good 
as to send me. I read with delight in the Church 
Missionary Intelligencer your translation of Xavier's 

1 The revised version runs 

" Shine Thou upon us, Lord, 
True Light of men to-day." 

Hymns Ancient and Modern, 580. 

The original, however, is preserved in the Collected Hymns, 
p. 64. 



126 JOHN ELLERTON 

hymn, 1 but the hymn for Holy Communion, and 
that for the House of Mercy, are both of them quite 
new to me, and you will paTdon my saying how 
very beautiful I feel them to be. 

" I am so glad that * Peace, perfect peace ' and 
its tune are in the Hymns Ancient and Modern 
supplement. Beyond all your hymns I think it 
has brought blessing to many, and I know how it 
has helped the faith of some of God's sorely-tried 
children. Our Essex poor folk love it dearly." 

" The Rectory, White Roding, Dunmoiv, 
"Nov. 14, 1889. 

" MY DEAR LORD, 

" I can only to-day just acknowledge the 
receipt of your Lordship's very kind letter. If I 
can be of any service in looking over the proofs 
you send me, it will be a great pleasure to do so. 
I feel thankful for the opportunity of being still 
of some little use now that God has given me in 
my declining years a quiet sphere of work that 
leaves me some leisure. 

"I am so glad to see your translation of O 
quanta qualia. I had two days ago a MS. trans- 
lation sent me by Mr. Pott ; but I like Neale's 
metre t and the lovely French tune ; and I shall 
like to examine your version in detail. 

" As to your Lordship's other request, I scarcely 
know what to say. If the power seems given to 

1 " O Deus ego amo Te, 

Nee amo Te ut salves me." 

The Bishop's version begins, " O God, I love Thee ; not 
that my poor love," and is included in the last edition of the 
Hymnal Companion. 



WHITE RODING 12? 

me to make anything of so great a subject which 
can be at all useful, I shall be very thankful ; but 
I do not know whether I shall be able. I will keep 
it standing in mind during the next week or two. 

"Do you know Vinet's marvellous hymn Sotts 
ton voile d'ignominie ? It is in the S.P.C.K. Channel 
Island book of French hymns, as well as in the 
Chants Chretiens, and in the book used generally 
in the Canton de Vaud. I want to try my hand 
at it for a hymn for Good Friday. 1 May I send 
it you to criticize if I seem to succeed ? It is, 
I think, a very great hymn in its own way, as a 
meditation on the Love of the Atonement. 
" Believe me, my dear Lord, 

" Very sincerely yours, 

"JOHN ELLERTON." 

How highly the Bishop valued the assistance of 
Canon Ellerton, the late Sir Henry W. Baker, and 
of Dr. Walsham How, Bishop of Wakefield, may 
be gathered from his graceful acknowledgment of 
their services in his Introduction to the Hymnal 
Companion, where he says 

" Nothing could exceed the true brotherly kind- 
ness, for I can express it by no other word, with 
which they have met my requests and helped my 
work." 

Feeling that his work as a hymn-writer was 
now practically done, he collected all that he had 
composed and translated into a volume entitled 
Hymns Original and Translated, a copy of which, 
as we have seen in his letter of April 24, he pre- 
1 The translation is given p. 1 50. 



128 JOHN ELLERTON 

sented to his fellow labourer and brother poet, 
Bishop E. H. Bickersteth. It contains seventy-six 
pieces, including the longer and shorter versions 
of " Saviour, again." Of them, eight were written 
in his Essex rectory, namely 

1. "O Father, bless the children." For Holy 
Baptism ; scarcely so much a hymn in the full 
Augustinian sense of the word as a very beautiful 
invocation addressed to the Three Persons of the 
Holy Trinity on behalf of the baptized. 

2. " O Jerusalem the blissful, Home of gladness 
yet untold." For the restoration of a church, trans- 
lated from O Beata Hierusalem^ a Mozarabic 
Breviary hymn at least as old as the eleventh 
century. 

3. " Praise to the Heavenly Wisdom." For the 
Festival of St. Matthias. These three hymns were 
written for, and first appeared in, the " complete 
edition" of Hymns Ancient and Modern. The 
other hymns belonging to this latest period were 
the following, none of which are, so far as we 
know, incorporated into any hymnal. 

4. " Thrice Holy, Thrice Almighty Lord." For 
Trinity Sunday, translated from the French 
Breviary hymn Ter sancte, ter potens Deus, by 
Claude de Santeiiil (d. 1684). Of the version in 
ChurcJi Hymns, the translation of the first three 
verses is by Chandler, and that of the last two 
by Mr. Ellerton ; showing that though the version 
in the collected hymns is dated June i, 1886, he 
must have made a translation at some earlier period. 

5. " English children, lift your voices." A most 
loyal children's hymn, for Queen Victoria's Jubilee, 



WHITE ROBING 129 

1887, written for Skeffington's collection of Jubilee 
hymns. 

6. " Again Thou meetest in Thy way." For the 
Sunday after a funeral. 

7. " Spirit of God, Whose glory." A fine hymn 
for the opening of a parish room, written for the 
dedication of the Charles Lamb Memorial Build- 
ings, Easter Monday, April 2, 1888. 

We may include here a hymn the date of which 
is lost 

8. "This is the hour when in full brightness 
glowing." For sext in Passion-tide, translated 
from Charles Coffin's Paris Breviary hymn Jam 
soils excelsum jubar. A version beginning " Behold 
the radiant sun on high," by J. D. Chambers, is 
in the Hymnary. 

The hymns written subsequent to the publica- 
tion of Hymns Original and Translated (1888), 
now collected for the first time, are given in full 
in another place. 1 

It now only remains to give some account of 
Mr. Ellerton's connection with Hymns Ancient 
and Modern, the last service he rendered to the 
hymnody of the Church of England. 

1 See p. 138. 



HYMNS ANCIENT AND MODERN 1 

THE first edition of this world-renowned book 
was published in 1861. The idea of reducing the 
chaotic state of English hymnody which up to that 
time had prevailed into something like order by 
the compilation of one book of commanding merit 
originated with the Rev. F. H. Murray, Rector of 
Chislehurst, in Kent. The carrying out of the 
idea was committed to the late Rev. Sir Henry 
W. Baker, who associated with himself some 
twenty clergymen, including the editors of many 
existing hymnals, who agreed to give up their 
several books in order, as far as might be, to 
promote the use of one. 

Small as the book was in its first edition, it at 
once gained the confidence of the Church. The 
lines upon which it was constructed were widely 
recognized as the right lines. Although only con- 

1 Much of the information here given is taken from a 
paper by the Rev. W. Pulling, Chairman of the H. A. M. 
Committee, read at the Swansea Church Congress, 1879, 
from a communication addressed to me by the Rev. G. 
Cosby White, the present chairman, and from the papers 
of Mr. Ellerton himself, kindly lent me by his son, the Rev, 
F. G. Ellerton. 

130 



HYMNS ANCIENT AND MODERN 131 

taining 273 hymns, 132 were translations from the 
Latin, 10 from the German, 119 English hymns 
already well known and loved, and 12 were 
original. 1 Thus the hymnody of the Western 
Church was to a considerable extent represented. 
It contained, moreover, the vital principle of growth. 
So favourably was it received that the necessity 
of an Appendix soon became apparent. This was 
added in 1868, when 113 more hymns of sterling 
merit were published, including two of Mr. Eller- 
ton's original compositions, 2 and his translation of 
the Alleluia perenne. In April 1872 the sub- 
committee reported that "they had carefully 
digested a large number of answers to two sets 
of questions circulated as widely as possible ; have 
considered all new matter hitherto proposed to 
them, and hope that they may be able after their 
next meeting to print the first rough draft of the 
revised book." 

The final outcome of this and subsequent meet- 
ings was the publication of the Revised Edition of 
1875. It contained 473 hymns, of which the fol- 
lowing ten, in addition to the three which were in 
the first Appendix, were either composed or trans- 
lated by Mr. Ellerton. 

1. "Joy! because the circling year." From the 
Latin. 

2. " King of Saints ! to Whom the number." 

3. " Lift the strain of high thanksgiving." 

4. " Now the labourer's task is o'er." 

5. "O Son of God, our Captain of salvation." 

1 Julian. 

- " Saviour, again," and " This is the day of light." 



132 JOHN ELLERTON 

6. " O Strength and Stay upholding all Creation." 
From the Latin. 

7. " Our day of praise is done." 

8. " Thou Who sentest Thine Apostles." 

9. " Throned upon the awful Tree." 

10. "We sing the glorious conquest." 

But although he had been from time to time 
consulted by the compilers, Mr. Ellerton's formal 
connection with Hymns Ancient and Modern dates 
from 1885. In the spring of that year he was 
invited to a Conference of Priests and Laymen to 
consider the further enlargement of the book, it 
having been represented to the compilers "that 
an impression exists that it is desirable to supple- 
ment their book from the large stores of new 
hymns which have been given to the Church 
since the publication of the Revised Edition in 



The result of this Conference will be seen 
in the following letter from the Rev. William 
Pulling, then Chairman of the Committee of 
Compilers. 

" Eastnor Rectory ', Ledbury, 
"July 1885. 

" DEAR MR. ELLERTON, 

" I have the pleasure of communicating 
to you the resolution passed at a meeting of 
H. A. M. on Wednesday last. 

"That having considered the Report of the 
Meeting held May 20, at the Army and Navy 
Hotel, we resolve, in compliance with the almost 
unanimous opinion expressed alike by those pre- 
sent at that meeting, and by those invited but 



HYMNS ANCIENT AND MODERN 133 

unable to attend, that some additions be made to 
H. A. M. 

"We are very grateful to you for the kind 
assistance which you afforded us towards coming 
to a decision upon the important question discussed 
at that Conference. And we shall be glad of your 
further kind help in the steps which we are initi- 
ating to carry our Resolution into effect." 

A further Meeting was held in October, to which 
Mr. Ellerton was invited as consultee. The 
subjects discussed were 

1. Hymns 'for the seasons not proper for the 
Festival itself, especially Easter. 

2. Hymns addressed to the praise of God the 
Father. 

3. Hymns for Holy Baptism ; Holy Eucharist. 

4. General Hymns. 

5. Hymns suitable for instructions and Mission 
Services on Sunday evenings. 

6. Hymns suitable for use on Sundays. 

So highly were Mr. Ellerton's services esteemed 
by the compilers, that in the next year the Chair- 
man, now the Rev. G. Cosby White, wrote to him 
in the following complimentary terms 

" San Geinignano, 

" Wednesday, May 19, 1886. 
"MY DEAR MR. 'ELLERTON, 

"You have been so kind in giving your 
valuable assistance in collecting materials for the 
Supplement of Hymns Ancient and Modern, that 
we are emboldened to ask a further favour. Would 
you be so kind as to help us in arriving at a final 



134 JOHN ELLERTON 

decision as to the admission or rejection of the 
hymns which have been suggested : to strengthen, 
in fact, as an Assessor our * Final Court of Appeal/ 
and if so, would you kindly meet us on the after- 
noon of Tuesday, June 8, at Arundel House, pre- 
paratory to a General Meeting of the Consultees 
on the following day ? " 

His eldest son, the Rev. F. G. Ellerton, in a 
letter to me referring to this period, says 

" From this time he was very much engaged 
until the publication of the book in 1889, both 
with the general work of selecting and judging, 
and also in translating hymns from the Latin, 
He re-cast two of his own, * From east to west,' 
and 'Bride of Christ,' 1 which had appeared in 
Church Hymns, and was for a long time occupied 
over a rendering of O Beata Hierusalem, with sug- 
gestions from the Rev. Jackson Mason : these two 
last hymns he was very fond of. So too he in 
turn contributed suggestions to the translations of 
others. The translations were a feature of the 
Supplement, and he much enjoyed his old work 
of translating, and his Daniel's Thesaurus was 
often consulted, and he asked me, and you too 
no doubt, for suggestions. It is no doubt a ques- 
tion whether the translations are popular, but 
'Bride of Christ' always seems to me very fine." 

The following letter to the Rev. G. Cosby White, 

accompanying two translations from the Latin, is 

interesting. As the version of Puer Natus never 

seems to have been published it is given on p. 148. 

1 See p. 84. 



HYMNS ANCIENT AND MODERN 135 

" The Rectory., White Roding, 

"July 22, 1887. 

"MY DEAR WHITE, 

"I send you (i) Puer Natus, with coi> 
rections by Jackson Mason. I rather prefer in 
v. 2, 

''Here in a manger He doth lie.' 1 
(Hie jacet in praesepio.) 

But J. M.'s second line is better than mine. His 
verse about Bos et asinus is also a great improve- 
ment. Please substitute it for mine. I do not 
quite like 

' He comes, yet of our blood in truth. 5 

But if you prefer it let it be so. It is good to get 
in sanguine. I also prefer J. M.'s Doxology, 2 which 
is nearly what was on my first draft. 

" 2. Sponsa Christi (H. A.M. 618). 

"J. M. has seen my suggested alterations, and 
approves of them all. The only one of importance 
is 

' Blessed Virgin Mother/ 
for 

' Mother Ever- Virgin.' 

Do you not think that (apart from our own in- 
dividual sympathies) the use of the first phrase 
rather than the second will tend to a more 
harmonious and general acceptance of the hymn ? 

1 J. M. suggested 

" He in a manger-bed doth lie, 
Who holds unbounded sovereignty." 

" Praise we the Holy Three in One, 
And thank our God for His dear Son." 



136 JOHN ELLERTON 

I should be so sorry to see the question raised and 
discussed among those who otherwise would gladly 
and thankfully receive the book. But having said 
this to you, I shall say no more. To myself 
personally the phrase would be no stumbling- 
block. The holy Mother of our Lord is to me for 
all time the ' Blessed Virgin Mary.' " 

The complete edition of Hymns Ancient and 
Modern, that is, the edition of 1875 with a Supple- 
ment, was published in 1889. Of the 165 hymns 
of which the Supplement is composed, no less 
than 13 are by Mr. Ellerton, namely 

1. " Behold us, Lord, a little space." 

2. " Bride of Christ, whose glorious warfare." 
From the Latin. 

3. "From east to west, from shore to shore." 
From the Latin. 

4. " God of the living, in Whose eyes." 

5. " Hail to the Lord Who comes." 

6. " O Father all creating." 

7. " O Father, bless the children." 

8. " O Jerusalem the blissful, Home of gladness 
yet untold." From the Latin. 

9. " Oh how fair that morning broke." 

10. " Praise to the Heavenly Wisdom." 

11. "Shine Thou upon us, Lord." 

12. "The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended." 

13. " Welcome, happy morning ! age to age shall 
say." From the Latin. Making the whole number 
of his contributions to the book twenty-six. 

" It would be scarcely possible," in the words 
of Mr. White, the Chairman of the Committee, 



HYMNS ANCIENT AND MODERN 137 

" to exaggerate the value of the assistance which 
was rendered by Mr. Ellerton in the production 
of the complete edition." 

Early in 1892 the body of proprietors of Hymns 
Ancient and Modern invited him to associate him- 
self with them still more closely in view of the 
intervention of Convocation, foreshadowed by the 
appointment of a Committee. He accepted the 
invitation, but it came too late ; he was never able 
to attend any of the meetings, and his loss was 
felt by the compilers to be irreparable. 



THE LAST HYMNS 

As none of Canon Ellerton's, composed subse- 
quent to the publication of Hymns Original and 
Translated '(1888), have been incorporated, so far as 
I know, into any hymnal, they are here given. They 
are of unequal merit, some indeed were written 
when the author had already felt the first touch 
of that hand which was commissioned to take him 
from us. With the exception of the last they lack 
the fire, the ring of his best compositions ; still 
they are all full of holy and beautiful thoughts. 

The hymns for the Conversion of St. Paul, First 
Day of Lent, Ascension Day, and St. Matthew, 
and the Sunday Hymn for Little Children, first 
appeared in the Church Monthly Magazine, and 
I am indebted to the editor, Frederick Sherlock, 
Esq., for permission to gather them into this 
volume. 

i. Ascended Lord, Thy Church's Head, is worthy 
of a place in any hymnal. Perhaps the omission 
of the second and third verses would render it 
more suitable for congregational singing ; while 
the second line of the third verse would certainly 
be improved by A Son of Man being altered to 
138 



THE LAST HYMNS 139 

The Son of Man, inasmuch as in the original the 
definite article is used. 1 

2. What ^vere Thy forty days ? is not, and does 
not profess to be, in any sense of the word a 
hymn ; but it is a very beautiful Lenten medita- 
tion, one that should find a place in any future 
collection of devotional poetry. 

3. 'Tis come, the day of exultation ! One of the 
best of this series. It might well end, however, 
with the sixth verse, which forms a suitable 
concluding doxology. 

4. To-day ive sing to Christ our King. In no 
point is our national hymnody weaker than in 
historical hymns, hymns which connect the present 
age of the English Church with the old heroes of 
the faith, whose names are preserved, apparently 
only to be ignored, in our Calendar. We greatly 
want hymns recording the deeds of what are called 
the " Black-letter Saints," e.g. St. Hugh of Lincoln, 
St. Richard of Chichester, St. Hilary, etc. This 
hymn, and the Brighton processional, Praise our 
God for all the wonders, are models for such 
compositions. 

6. Holy Spirit, Whom our Master sent. In a 
letter dated January 2, 1890, the Bishop of Exeter 
writes to Mr. Ellerton, " In your most kind letter 
of November 14, you were good enough to say you 
would attempt to write a hymn on charity (i Cor. 
xiii.) for me ; and I have not seldom breathed 
a prayer that God would give you one for His 
Church." This is the hymn composed in com- 
pliance with the Bishop's request. 

1 TOV vibv TOV aV0poi7Tov, Acts vii. 56. 



140 JOHN ELLERTON 

6. " Follow Me ! " the Master spake. A very 
valuable addition to the series of Saints' Days 
hymns, and one that is sure to find its way into 
future hymnals. 

7. A Sunday Hymn for Little Children, dated 
August 24, 1891. 

8. Say, Watchman, what of the night ? Mr. 
Ellerton's last published hymn. The old fire and 
vigour seems to have returned, and this noble 
Advent song will rank with the compositions 01 
his best days. 



i CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL. 

ASCENDED Lord, Thy Church's Head, 
Thou First-Begotten from the dead, 
Thy life is hid in depths of light, 
Beyond the world of sense and sight. 

Though now withdrawn behind the veil, 
Thy Pastoral love can never fail ; 
And Thou, Great Shepherd of the sheep, 
By night and day Thy watch dost keep. 

Thy dying Martyr saw Thee stand, 
A Son of Man, at God's right Hand ; 
Thy blinding glory barred the path, 
And stayed the persecutor's wrath. 

Oh, day of blessings for our race ! 
Oh, mystery of electing grace ! 
When that Divine and loving call 
Subdued the stubborn heart of Saul ! 

Thy word the fiery spirit broke ; 

The strong will bowed to bear Thy yoke ; 

He rose, the bondman of his Lord, 

To preach the Name he once abhorred. 



THE LAST HYMNS 141 

Light of the Gentiles ! Praise to Thee, 
For this Thy last Epiphany ! 
From this great hour the Dayspring shone 
On lands unnamed, on tribes unknown. 

Victorious Love ! pursue Thy road, 
Till all the earth shall see her God ; 
And many a foeman yet shall be 
A chosen vessel unto Thee ! 

August 13, 1890. 

2 THE FIRST DAY OF LENT. 

WHAT were Thy Forty Days ? 
No calm retreat within the holy place ; 
No friend to speak one strengthening, soothing word ; 
No comfort of a silent, pitying face ; 
No voice with Thine in soft responding heard ; 
Long hours of thoughts unuttered and unknown ; 
Day after day, the wilderness, alone ! 

What are my Lenten days ? 
The open portals of Thy house of prayer, 
With friends and brethren kneeling at my side ; 
A low-breathed psalm of mercy in the air ; 
A pastoral voice to warn, or cheer, or guide ; 
The Bread of Heaven itself, bestowed to win 
Fresh strength for battling with my secret sin. 

What were Thy Forty Days ? 
The lonely vigil and the bitter fast, 
Chastening that Flesh which knew no taint of ill ; 
The nights and days in high communion passed ; 
The self-surrender to the Father's will ; 
And, most of all, the conflict stern and dread, 
Which bruised for us the ancient tempter's head. 

What are my Lenten days ? 
An hour's retirement from the world's full round ; 
A few light pleasures for a while foregone ; 
A little pausing here on holy ground, 



142 JOHN ELLERTON 

My God to seek, my sins to think upon ; 

A few faint sighs o'er evil thought and deed ; 

A few resolves a holier life to lead. 

Yet make my Lent like Thine ! 
No strength have I to climb that lonely height, 
Like Thee to wrestle, and like Thee prevail ; 
Yet grant me, in Thy guiding Spirit's might, 
To follow Thee, though flesh and heart should fail, 
Alone with Thee to foil the tempter's skill, 
And learn at length to do my Father's will. 



3 ASCENSION DAY. 

'Tis come, the day of exultation ! 

The day for which the ages yearned ; 
When Christ, the Hope of all creation, 

The Mighty God, to heaven returned. 

God is gone up on high ascending, 
His rightful throne once more to fill, 

And all the realms of bliss unending 
Are ringing with His welcome still. 

On that great battlefield victorious, 
Where Satan fell, He took His prey ; 

A deathless body, risen and glorious, 
Before His Father to display. 

From yonder cloud our King Immortal 
Speaks hope to each believing soul : 

His touch unbars the long-closed portal, 
The gates of Eden backward roll. 

O joy, all other joys exceeding ! 

The Virgin-Born, our Very Own, 
Past all the shame, the Cross, the bleeding, 

Ascends at last His Father's Throne. 



THE LAST HYMNS 143 

Then to our Champion of Salvation 

All thanks and praises let us pay ; 
Who, Firstfruits of His ransomed nation, 

Hath borne our flesh on high to-day. 

For on this day of days 'tis given 

To men to share in angels' mirth, 
They joy that He is come to heaven, 

And we that He forsook not earth. 

Lord, give us grace, as Thou hast bidden, 

In works of love to wait for Thee ; 
Our life with Thine in God be hidden, 
. That where Thou art we yet may be. 



4 TRANSLATION OF ST. MARTIN. 1 (July 4.) 

TO-DAY we sing to Christ our King 

His valiant soldiers' praise ; 
The men who bore from shore to shore 

The Faith in ancient days ; 
Of Martin's work for God we tell, 

Through patient years sustained, 
Till thousands heard the Gospel word, 

And life eternal gained. 

When first to these lone woods and fields 

Our conquering fathers came, 
They gave their new-built house of prayer 

Saint Martin's honoured name ; 
Because from him their sires had learned 

The tale of Jesus' love, 
And so from idol forms had turned 

To worship God above. 

1 The Patron Saint of White Roding church ; this hymn was written for 
the Parish Festival, 1891. St. Martin is commemorated twice in the 
Prayer-book Calendar ; his death on November n (he died November 8, 
397), and the translation of his remains on July 4. He died and was 
buried at Cande, a monastery at the extremity of his diocese, but in 473 
his relics were removed to a basilica dedicated in his honour near Tours. 
In England alone there are one hundred and sixty churches dedicated 
to St. Martin. 



144 JOHN ELLERTON 

Eight hundred years haye passed away 

Since this old church was new ; 
And still to-day the Creeds we say 

Which Martin taught for true. 
Then speed Thy Word, O conquering Lord, 

From rise to set of sun, 
Till land and sea shall bow to Thee, 

And praise the Three in One ! 

5 WHITSUNTIDE. 1 

O HOLY SPIRIT, Whom our Master sent 

Rich with all treasures, from the throne above, 

We pray Thee for Thy gift most excellent, 
Thy greatest, Thine unfailing gift of love. 

'Tis not for us with one commanding word 
To heal the sick, or chase the hosts of hell ; 

In tongues unknown to make Thy mysteries heard, 
Or things of God with lips inspired to tell. 

Those signs are past ; the written word is ours ; 

And Satan trembles at the might of prayer : 
The shield of Faith can quell the evil powers, 

And Hope's bright helmet save us from despair. 

These yet abide ; but we would covet still 
One gift, exalted faith and hope above : 

Grant us the new commandment to fulfil, 
And even as Jesus loved us, so to love. 

Grant us to follow His long-suffering path, 
Joying in truth, yet helping them that fall ; 

To think no evil, give no place to wrath, 
'But bear, believe, endure, and hope for all. 

So when at length we know as we are known, 

And all the shadows are for ever past, 
He Who is Love may find in us His own, 

And all in Him be perfect love at last. 

March 24, 1890 

1 Kindly communicated by the Lord Bishop of Exeter. 



THE LAST HYMNS 145 

6 ST. MATTHEW. 

"He gave some . . . Evangelists." 

" FOLLOW Me ! " the Master spake, 
As He passed beside the lake ; 
This the fisher brothers heard, 
Left their all at Jesus' word. 

" Follow Me ! " and Matthew, too, 
That constraining summons knew ; 
Cast away his hopes of gain, 
Chose the labour, want, and pain. 

Oh, the blest exchange he made, 
With the Master's pound to trade ! 
Priceless wealth of souls to lay 
At His feet on that Great Day ! 

Following on where Jesus led, 
Gathering up the words He said, 
Watching every gracious deed 
So the world might hear and read. 

Earliest of the Chosen Four, 
He, from out his treasure-store, 
Bringing forth things new and old, 
Tidings of the Kingdom told. 

On the Blessed Mount He saw 
Given the new and holier Law. 
On the shore he stood and learned 
Mysteries by the few discerned. 

So he spake of things he knew, 
Type and prophecy come true ; 
Words of life, and signs of power, 
Warnings of the Judgment hour : 

Spake of Jesus' Cross and pain, 
How His grave was watched in vain ; 
How on Easter morning He 
Led His flock to Galilee. 

K 



146 JOHN ELLERTON 

There the Risen Lord once more 
Stood beside them on the shore, 
Bade His Church her charge fulfil, 
Told her He is with us still. 

Praise to Thee, O Lord the Christ, 
For Thy first Evangelist ! 
Praise for all which Thou dost give, 
Word of God, by Whom we live ! 

March 21, 1890. 



7 A SUNDAY HYMN FOR LITTLE CHILDREN. 

IT was early in the morning 

The first bright Sunday morning 
That the dear Lord Jesus rose from the grave in which He lay; 

And in the morning quiet, 

The holy Angels by it, 
Sat waiting for the Maries to come along the way. 

The Maries came in sadness, 

But the Angels brought them gladness 

When they said, " The Lord is risen ; He will never die 

again." 

And soon He came to meet them, 
With loving words to greet them 

Oh, that Sunday put an end to their sorrow and their pain ! 

Now the Angels who sit keeping 

Their watch while we lie sleeping 
Are glad to see us wake when the Sunday morn is here ; 

For they know their Lord rejoices 

To listen to their voices, 
And the praises of the children to Him are always dear. 

Then let us take our places 

With gladness on our faces 
With hearts and voices ready our Sunday hymns to sing ; 

For it is coming one day, 

The best and brightest Sunday, 
When all His children rise again to meet their glorious King ! 



THE LAST HYMNS 147 



8 "SAY, WATCHMAN, WHAT OF THE NIGHT?" 

" SAY, watchman,- what of the night ? 

Is it shrouded in darkness still? 
Are there no pale streaks of the dawning light 

O'er the crest of the Eastern hill ? " 
" Yea, the stars are glittering clear ; 

Nor yet does the East turn grey ; 
But the night is waning, the dawn is near, 

The dawn of a cloudless day." 

" But, watchman, what of the night 

The night of our sorrow and pain 
Will the darkened life never more grow bright, 

Nor the joy return again ? " 
' ' Yea, sorrow and pain for awhile, 

Are the burden upon you laid ; 
But soon on your tears shall the sunrise smile, 

With the brightness that ne'er shall fade." 

" But, watchman, what of the night 

Of evil, and wrong, and woe ? 
For dark is the time, and fierce is the fight, 

And unyielding is the foe." 
" Yea, the battle is sore and long, 

Through the night of the troubled years. 
But the Advent morn brings the Victor song, 

And joy when the Christ appears." 

The following Translations and Hymns were 
found by the Rev. F. G. Ellerton among his father's 
papers. None of them, so far as I know, have 
hitherto appeared in print. Some, especially the 
Puer Natus and Sous ton voile cPignoininie, have 
evidently a future before them. Although all are 
in the Canon's handwriting, Nos. 6 and 7 are 
believed to be by Dr. Monsell, No. 8 by Emma 
Toke, and No. 10 'by Joseph Anstice. 



I4 8 JOHN ELLERTON 

i PUER NATUS IN BETHLEHEM. 

A CHILD is born in Bethlehem, 

And gladness fills Jerusalem. Alleluia ! 

Here in a manger He doth lie, 

Who reigns for evermore on high. Alleluia ! 

His crib the ox and ass have known, 

And in this Child, their Lord they own. Alleluia ! 

From Saba comes a train of kings, 

Gold, frankincense, and myrrh it brings. Alleluia ! 

Each kneels in turn upon the floor 

The new-born Sovereign to adore Alleluia ! 

Born of a Virgin undefiled ; 

No earthly father calls Him child. Alleluia ! 

Untainted by the serpent's tooth, 

Yet one with us in very truth. Alleluia ! 

Like unto us in flesh is He, 

But unlike us from sin is free ; Alleluia ! 

That so in man He may restore 

God's likeness and His own once more. Alleluia ! 

In gladness for this wondrous Birth, 

Bless we the Lord of Heaven and earth. Alleluia ! 

[Glory to Thee, this happy morn, 

O Jesu Lord, the Virgin-born ! Alleluia ! ] 

To Thee, most Blessed Trinity, 

All thanks, all praise, all worship be. Alleluia ! Amen. 



2 TIBI CHRISTE SPLENDOR PATRIS. 
(IMITATED) 

Lo, the Angel squadrons muster ; lo, the armies of the sky ! 
Round the sapphire Throne they gather, worshipping the 

Lord most high ; 
Holy, Holy, Holy Sovereign King, Almighty God, they cry. 



THE LAST HYMNS 149 

Saviour Christ, the Father's glory, life and strength of loving 

souls, 

While the tide of adoration round Thy Feet in music rolls, 
While the anthem of the blessed Thy beloved Name extols. 

With the choir of mighty angels we our lowly hymns would 

raise ; 
Here with psalm and song responsive swell the torrent of 

their praise ; 
Till at last with them united on Thine unveiled Face we gaze. 

Thou art worthy, Thou hast conquered ; grant us, Lord, to 

conquer too, 
Though our foes are strong and crafty, and our forces scant 

and few ; 
Lord of armies, Thou wilt aid us ; faithful is Thy Name and 

true. 

3 HOLY COMMUNION BEFORE A JOURNEY. 

(O ESCA VIATORUM.) 
" O taste and see how gracious the Lord is." 

O MEAT for travellers on their road, 

O Angel's Bread on men bestowed, 
O Manna, Heavenly food ! 

Fill Thou our hearts that faint for Thee, 

Forbid us not to taste and see 

That Thou, O Lord, art good . 

O Fount of Love, which long ago 
From one pure Source began to flow 

The SAVIOUR'S wounded Side ; 
Refresh the thirsting in their need ; 
For Thee we crave, in Thee indeed 

Our soul is satisfied. 

O JESU LORD, Whose Face Divine 

Here through the veils of Bread and Wine 

Believing we adore, 
Grant us in Thine eternity 
With open eyes to gaze on Thee, 

And love Thee evermore. 



I5O JOHN ELLERTON 

4 _SOUS TON VOILE D'IGNOMINIE. 

O SACRED HEAD, beneath Thy veil of shame, 
Beneath Thy crown of pain I know Thy Name ; 
Through the dim cloud of blood mine eye can trace 
The quenchless majesty of that marred Face ! 

Oh, never in the realm of light till now 
Did light so heavenly shine upon Thy Brow ; 
Never in Beauty's home, Thy Beauty's ray 
Beamed with such glow as here on Golgotha. 

Ye who adore the Father in the Son, 
Where life and worship are for ever one, 
Say, did He ever seem so fair to see, 
Angels, as here upon the atoning Tree ? 

His death hath crowned the honour which was His 
From everlasting in the land of bliss ; 
And with the humbling of the Son of Man, 
The glory of the Son of God began. 

The Father's voice proclaimed it I am Love ; 
And Jesus, stooping from His home above, 
Bore the glad news to earth, to every one 
Lo ! I am Love ; I am the Father's Son. 

Yes, He is Love ; the God we see, we know ; 
The God in whom God blesses man below, 
Where is the Throne of Love, but where we find 
Brother and Victim in our God combined ? 

Love is the highest ; Love the joy of heaven ; 
Love the true Crown to our Emmanuel given ; 
Poor dreams of power away ! henceforth for me 
There is no greatness but in charity. 

My reason worships Thee, O Love Divine, 
Come, fill and change this empty heart of mine ; 
Come, that my soul Thy Light and joy may share 
And carry Eden with her everywhere. 



THE LAST HYMNS 15 1 

Mine eyes on Thine, Divinest Brother, fix ! 
My life with Thine vouchsafe to intermix ! 
Pour into mine Thy heart, and so destroy 
All longing in my soul for other joy ! 

JOHN ELLERTON 
(From Chants Chretiens). 

[I have translated the whole of the verses, but it 
obviously requires much curtailment] 

5 NEW YEAR'S EVE. 

"Thou art the same, and Thy years shall have no end." 

THE years pass on. We name them good or bad : 
This brought us hope and love and bright success ; 
That other left us empty, dark and sad ; 
Now both are past, the joy, the bitterness : 
Glory to Thee for both, from Whom they came ; 
Thou art the same ! 

The years bring change . The fires of youth grow old : 
We half forget the names we once revered, 
Smile at the hatreds and the loves of old, 
And dwell in peace among the things we feared. 
Glory to Thee, the One Unchanging Name : 
Thou art the same ! 

The years bring doubt : we count them up and see 
Our wisdom all at fault, our forecasts vain ; 
Nothing that hath been tells us what shall be, 
No past experience makes the future plain. 
Thee only can we trust ; we know Thy Name ; 
Thou art the same ! 

Not with high hopes, yet not with weak despair, 
We cross the threshold of another year ; 
Silent we enter in, we know not where : 
All that we know is only, Thou art here ; 
Because Thy years, O Master, Guide, and Friend, 
Shall have no end ! 



152 JOHN ELLERTON 

6- AD VENT. 

LORD, to Thy holy temple 

Return, return again ; 
Come back and fill with glory 

The ways and hearts of men ! 
Not now a lowly Infant, 

Unnoticed and unknown ; 
But in the royal splendour 

Of Thine eternal throne ! 

Come back and fill Thy temple, 

Built up of human hearts, 
With that abiding Presence 

Which never more departs ! 
Thy Spirit send before Thee, 

Till, by His life restored, 
Thy people all adore Thee, 

Their only King and Lord ! 



7 ADVENT (SECOND SUNDAY). 

BLESSED Lord, Who till the morning 

Of Thine Advent shall appear, 
Words of hope hast left and warning, 

Souls to strengthen, guide, and cheer ; 
Left them written for our learning, 

Pointing out the one true way, 
Lest our hearts with all their yearning 

After home, should go astray. 

Grant us in the sacred story 

Of the deeds which Thou hast done, 
Grace to catch those gleams of glory 

Which on saints and martyrs shone ; 
Grant us faithful hearts to linger 

O'er the steps which Thou hast trod, 
Where Thy Cross with silent finger 

Points the upward way to God. 



THE LAST HYMNS 153 

Fill us, as we read the pages 

Traced by holy men of old, 
With the hope which through the ages 

Did our fathers' hearts uphold ; 
Still to be, by wisdom learning, 

Kept in patience by Thy word, 
Faith still bright, and love still burning, 

Servants, ready for their Lord. 

8-LENT. 

O LORD, Thou knowest all the snares 

That round our pathway be ; 
Thou knowest how both joys and cares 

Come between us and Thee. 

Thou know'st that our infirmity 

In Thee alone is strong : 
To Thee for help and strength we fly ; 

Oh, let us not go wrong ! 

Oh, bear us up, protect us now 

In dark temptation's hour ; 
For Thou wast born of woman, Thou 

Hast felt temptation's power. 

All sinless, Thou canst feel for those 

Who strive and suffer long ; 
Then still 'midst all our cares and woes 

Oh let us not go wrong ! 

9 "PRAISE WAITETH FOR THEE, O GOD 
IN ZION." 

IN gladness to Thy House, O Lord, 

Thy children come to-day, 
To bless Thy Name with one accord, 

And with one mouth to pray. 
High praise in Zion waits for Thee, 

Where that New Song unknown 
Is borne across the glassy sea 

From saints before the Throne 



154 JOHN ELLERTON 

For Thee our lowlier worship waits, 

Whene'er with duteous feet 
We stand within Thine earthly gates, 

Thy glorious Name to greet. 

For if Thy grace our hearts inspire 

With faith and love and fear, 
The simplest hymn of village choir 

To Thee we know is dear. 

Then help us, Lord, while here we live 

To offer Thee our best ; 
Do Thou our ignorance forgive, 

And perfect all the rest. 

Praise to the Father's Name is meet ; 

Praise to His only Son ; 
Praise to the Blessed Paraclete, 

The Three for ever One. 

October 9, 1891. 

10 O LORD, THY PRESENCE IS REVEALED. 

O LORD, Thy Presence is revealed 

By mountain and by flood, 
By woodland, and by quiet field, 

And homes where dwell the good. 

Yet Thou art with each faithful heart 

That pure would still remain, 
And do its firm yet gentle part 

Amidst the bad and vain. 

Dear Lord, through this world's troubled way 
Thy children's footsteps guide ; 

And lead them onward day by day, 
Unspotted at Thy side. 

Be ours to do Thy work of love 

All erring souls to win ; 
Amid a sinful world to move, 

Yet give no smile to sin. 



THE LAST HYMNS 1 55 



For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his 
house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, 
and commanded the porter to watch." St. Mark xiii. 34. 

WHEN to the far-off country 

The Master took His way, 
This charge He gave His servants : 

" Take heed, and watch, and pray : 
Lo, here your tasks appointed 

Until I come again ; 
And ever let the watchman 

Look forth across the plain." 

Great is His house, and many 

The guests within the hall, 
Because from street and highway 

He bade us welcome all ; 
The servants' tasks are heavy, 

They ply them might and main ; 
And through the gate the watchman 

Looks forth across the plain. 

Long doth the Master tarry ; 

And murmuring voices cry, 
" Vain all our care and labour, 

His coming draws not nigh : " 
And slothful dreamers prattle 

Of pleasure and of gain ; 
Yet still the faithful watchman 

Looks forth across the plain. 

Soon shall he mark, some midnight, 

The longed-for sign of fire, 
Or hail in redness dawning 

The morn of his desire ; 
The day when home in triumph 

The Master comes again, 
And He shall haste to open 

The Gate towards the plain. 

June 23, 1891. 



THE CLOSE 

THE publication of the " Complete Edition " of 
Hymns Ancient and Modern in 1889 may be said 
to mark the close of Mr. Ellerton's hymnological 
labours. One little thing indeed he undertook for 
the S. P. C. K., but this was an amusement rather 
than work: he thought that The Children 's Almanac, 
published annually by that Society, might be made 
more interesting by interweaving a Calendar of 
Nature, after the manner of that in White's Set- 
borne, with the chronology of the months, at the 
same time introducing a short notice of a few 
well-known birds. These last papers he asked the 
writer of these lines to prepare for him. The 
Almanac was ready for 1891, but did not appear 
till the following year. Thus his last work was, as 
his first had been, for children. 

And now the time drew near when he must rest 
from his labours. On the morning of December 1 1, 
1 89 1, the first of the three warnings which paralysis 
usually gives reached him. Further work was 
impossible, and appointing a trustworthy priest to 
continue to feed his flock at White Roding, he 
withdrew to Torquay. For a time he seemed to 
rally, and still talked cheerfully to his friends, and 
took a great interest in Dr. Julian's magnificent 
Dictionary of Hymnology, which had just been 
156 



THE CLOSE 157 

published. On May 5, 1892, the second summons 
was received at Torquay, which crippled him still 
more seriously, and he immediately began to make 
arrangements for resigning White Roding, now 
that all hope of ever returning to his beloved work 
as a parish priest was taken away. 

And now it was, as he was lying disabled, wait- 
ing his Master's call, that he was nominated to a 
prebendal stall in St. Albans Cathedral Church. 
But the promotion came too late ; the installation 
never took place. One cannot contemplate with- 
out pain, that he whose one ambition it was to 
have a church possessing historical interest, an 
ambition which was never attained until he came 
to White Roding, and then only very partially, 
should never have experienced the satisfaction of 
sitting in his own stall in that glorious abbey, and 
feeling himself one of its incorporate body cujus 
a singulis in solidum pars tenetnr. 

It appears to be the custom of St. Albans 
Cathedral for the Prebendaries to receive the title 
of " Canon," which in some other foundations is 
restricted to the Residentiaries, so for the last year 
of his life he received the empty and honorary 
address of " Canon " Ellerton. 

White Roding Rectory was bidden farewell to 
in the following October, the stricken poet returning 
to Torquay, where, however, he had the burden of 
feeling that he was still Rector, of which he was not 
relieved until March, after he had taken to his bed. 

He was able to attend the services at St. John's 
Church up to the Feast of the Epiphany, January 
6, 1893, after which he grew rapidly worse. His 



158 JOHN ELLERTON 

mind became overclouded, and as he lay peaceful 
and happy there came back to his memory in end- 
less succession fragments of the hymns he so dearly 
loved. Gradually he grew weaker, and ever less 
conscious day by day, until on June 15 those 
around him witnessed the realization of his own 
words 

" The brightness of a holy deathbed blending 
With dawning glories of the eternal day." 

Those who had the privilege of following him 
to his grave, a sunny spot in the cemetery of 
Torquay, on Tuesday, June 20, attended a funeral 
service such as can but very seldom have 'been 
witnessed before. He was buried amid his own 
hymns. At the burial of many a departed Church 
poet his own hymns have been sung, but when 
John Ellerton was carried to his bed of hope all 
the hymns, six in number, were from his own pen. 

The clergy and choir met the body at the porch, 
and proceeded up the church chanting the proces- 
sional sentences. The coffin, covered with flowers, 
was placed in the chancel, and Psalm xc. was sung. 
The Lesson was read by one of the poet's oldest 
friends and companions in hymnology, the Rev. 
R. Brown-Borthwick ; after which was sung, " God 
of the living, in Whose eyes." Then followed the 
celebration of Holy Communion, fully choral with 
Merbecke's music, the Vicar, the Rev. Basil R. 
Airy, being the celebrant. The Introit was 

"Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let 
light perpetual shine upon them. 

" Thou, O God, art praised in Sion, and unto 
Thee shall the vow be performed in Jerusalem. 



THE CLOSE 159 

" Thou that hearest the prayer, unto Thee shall 
all flesh come. 

" Rest eternal," etc. 

As a sequence was sung that hymn of tenderest 
beauty, " When the day of toil is done." And 
during Communion the last verse of " Saviour, 
again to Thy dear Name we raise" (Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, 31) 

" Grant us Thy peace throughout our earthly life, 
Our balm in sorrow, and our stay in strife ; 
Then, when Thy voice shall bid our conflict cease, 
Call us, O Lord, to Thine eternal peace." 

After the last prayer " Now the labourer's task 
is o'er." 

The coffin was then borne from the chancel 
during the chanting of Nnnc dimittis, and thus 
the poet passed out of the church. The six 
pall-bearers were representatives of the chief 
works to which Canon Ellerton had devoted 
so much of his life : Hymns Ancient and Modern 
by the Rev. C. W. Bond, in the absence of the 
Chairman of the Committee, the Rev. G. Cosby 
White; Church Hymns by the Rev. R. Brown- 
Borthwick; The Children's Hymn- Book by the Rev. 
Herbert Harvey, deputed by Bishop Walsham 
How, who was unable to attend ; The Hymnal 
Companion by the Rev. C. E. Storrs, in the place 
of Bishop E. H. Bickersteth, who was unavoidably 
absent ; Colonel Acton represented the Society for 
Promoting Christian Knowledge, and Mr. W. M. 
Moorsom the parishioners of Crewe Green. The 
procession neared the grave singing, " O shining 
city of our God." 



160 JOHN ELLERTON 

The Vicar committed the body to the ground, 
the choir singing the verse " I heard a voice from 
heaven," etc., while after the concluding prayer 
the choir broke out into the loveliest of all the 
departed poet's translations, " O Strength and 
Stay, upholding all creation." 

Thus amid the singing of his own hymns was 
the beloved poet laid in his honoured grave " Not 
dead but living unto Thee." Over no one, be it 
king or conqueror, prelate or statesman, could it 
be said with greater truth than over the priest and 
poet now left to sleep in his Father's gracious 
keeping, that " his body is buried in peace ; but 
his name liveth for evermore." l For as the Church 
of to-day counts among her choicest treasures the 
hymns she received from her ancient singers, from 
Ambrose, Venantius Fortunatus, Adam of St. 
Victor, the two Bernards, and many others, so 
will the Church of after ages, until the coming of 
her long-absent, long-expected Lord, preserve and 
treasure those which have been given her by John 
Ellerton. 

1 Ecclesiasticus xliv. 14. 



CHAPTER VII 

CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF CANON ELLERTON'S HYMNS 

IF a critical estimate of the value of any hymn- 
writer's productions is to carry weight, it must first 
of all be clearly stated what those principles and 
canons of criticism are upon which such an estimate 
is based. Mere personal preference is absolutely 
worthless ; in fact, the greater the respect and 
affection felt for any particular author, the greater 
becomes the difficulty of regarding his composi- 
tions with a calm and unbiased eye. 

Before then presuming to offer any opinion upon 
Canon Ellerton's hymns, we must bring forth the 
standard by which we would measure them, and 
then see how far they come up to or fall short 
of it. 

i. Now if we are going to speak of hymns, we 
must begin by defining what we mean by the word 
"hymn." The definition was given long ago by 
St. Augustine. Commenting upon the supple- 
mental verse of Psalm Ixxii., he says, "Hymni 
laudes sunt Dei cum cantico, Hymni cantus sunt 
continentes laudes Dei. Si sit laus et non sit Dei, 
non est kymnus. Si sit laus et laus Dei et non 
cantetur, non est hymnus. Oportet ergo ut si sit 
y Jiabeat haec tria, et laudem, et Dei, et 
161 L 



1 62 JOHN ELLERTON 

canticum" 1 This often-quoted definition may be 
enlarged and paraphrased, but its central principle 
remains unchanged. We may enlarge it by saying 
that a hymn is praise to God grounded upon His 
revelation of Himself in creation and redemption, 
upon His dealings with mankind collectively or 
individually, or upon His promises. The essential 
element of a hymn, its primary object, is praise ; 
the hymns of heaven are pure praise, 2 adoration, 
thanksgiving. 3 So also the highest hymns of 
the Church, "Benedicite," "Magnificat," "Nunc 
Dimittis," "Gloria Patri," "Te Deum laudamus," 
" Gloria in Excelsis." 

But when we assent to the principle that a 
hymn to be a hymn indeed must be a song of 
praise, we must not restrict the term praise to any 
narrow limit. There is a subjective as well as 
an objective praise. A hymn may contain the 
element of praise without mentioning the word. 
For example, no one will deny that " Sun of my 
soul" is a hymn, and a most beautiful hymn too, 
but there is not in it a single word of direct, 
objective praise ; but who does not feel that in its 
simple clinging to the Saviour, and commending 
all to His love and compassion, there is an infinite 
amount of indirect, subjective praise ? There are 
multitudes of so-called hymns which are merely 

1 " Hymns are praises to God sung ; hymns are songs 
containing praise to God. If, therefore, there be praise but 
not to God it is no hymn. If it be praise, and even praise 
to God, yet not sung, it is no hymn. A hymn, therefore, if it 
be a hymn, must have these three things praise, praise to 
God, and praise to God sung." 

2 Enarr* in Ps. Ixxii. " Isaiah vi. 3 ; Rev. iv. 8. 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON'S HYMNS 163 

metrical prayers, but these are for the most part 
weeded out from collections designed for congre- 
gational use. In fact, we may assert without fear 
of contradiction, that where the element of self 
prevails, the element of praise departs, and where 
self is lost sight of there praise is supreme, although 
it may be underlying the words and not on the 
surface. There is no finer example of indirect 
praise in any language than " Now the labourer's 
task is o'er." 

Hence it follows that we cannot condemn or 
reject a hymn because it contains the personal 
pronoun in the singular number, or where would 
be " My soul doth magnify the Lord " ; " For mine 
eyes have seen Thy Salvation " ? The individual 
experience of one may be, and often is, the general 
experience of others, and when this is the case let 
the others take the language of the one and make 
it their own. 

2. Again, a hymn is a song of praise and thanks- 
giving offered to God the Father through the 
Son, according to St. Paul's precept " giving thanks 
to God and the Father by Him." Of course 
no one will venture to affirm that hymns, like 
prayers, may not be addressed to the other Persons 
of the Holy Trinity ; the " Te Deum " itself, al- 
though a hymn of praise to the blessed Three in 
One, seems in its opening verses to address itself 
to the Second Person, "Te Deum laudamus," not 
"we praise Thee, O God," but "we praise Thee, 
the God," or "we praise Thee as God." "That 
hymns were addressed to Christ as God as early 
as the first and second centuries, is not only sug- 



1 64 JOHN ELLERTON 

gested by the well-known passage of Pliny's letter 
to Trajan (x. 96), but asserted apparently by St. 
Hippolitus, who speaks of Psalms and Odes of the 
brethren ' written by faithful men from the begin- 
ning, which hymn Christ the Word of God calling 
Him God.'" 1 In fact, the new song of the re- 
deemed, united afterwards to the full chorus of 
heaven, is addressed to the Redeemer "Worthy 
is the Lamb that was slain." The same holy 
instinct of the Church which constrained her to 
offer prayers to the Son, 2 compelled her also to 
direct to Him her praises ; still it should be borne 
in mind, that it is her normal principle to offer 
both to the Father by, through, in the Name of, 
the Son. 

3. Again, hymns of praise offered to Him Who 
is the God of Truth, must be true to those who 
sing them. Nothing can excuse false sentiment 
in a hymn. To hear a whole congregation pro- 
fessing before God feelings which only the most 
saintly can truly know, and they perhaps but very 
feebly ; or still worse, to listen to them making 
"passionate entreaties for death, that there may 
be an immediate attainment of glory," is inex- 
pressibly shocking ; it is standing before God with 
a lie in their right hand. 3 

4. Another essential necessity in a hymn is 
a soundness of doctrine. The particular point in 

1 Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology, Art. " Te Deum," 
p. 1125. 

2 Three of the Collects are thus addressed Third Sunday 
in Advent, St. Stephen, First Sunday in Lent. 

3 Isaiah xliv. 20. 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON'S HYMNS 165 

which many fail is the utter ignoring of the inter- 
mediate state. Their teaching is that at death 
the godly go straight to heaven and the ungodly 
straight to hell. This mistake is very serious, for 
it not only is a practical denial of the words of 
the Saviour to the penitent malefactor, " To-day 
shalt thou be with me in Paradise," but it obscures 
the Scriptural doctrine of the Judgment of the last 
great day. 1 

5. A good hymn should be congregational. It 
is by no means a bar to its reception into a Hymnal 
that it is written in the singular number. We have 
the warrant of many Psalms for this ; but the 
Psalms express, whether in the singular or plural, 
feelings which are, or should be, common to a 
congregation of Christians ; and if a hymn embodies 
the same, it is not sufficient cause for it's banish- 
ment from congregational use that it is in the 
singular number. At the same time this is a 
hymnic licence which should not be indulged in 
too freely. There is a wide difference between 
hymns suitable for public and those for private use. 
A hymn may be eminently beautiful and perfect 
as a composition yet totally unsuitable for con- 
gregational purposes. How many so-called hymns 
are simply metrical prayers. If all compositions 
which embody private and personal Christian cx- 

1 As an example see the opening verse of a popular hymn 
by the Rev. Samuel Grossman (d. 1683) 
"Jerusalem on high 

My song and city is, 
My home ivhcnccr I die, 
The centre of my bliss." 



1 66 JOHN ELLERTON 

perience, together with all metrical prayers, were 
gathered out of our best Hymnals, and incorporated 
elsewhere, there would be room in the former for 
many a fine hymn now lying under sentence of 
banishment. 

Praise, addressed chiefly, though by no means 
exclusively, to our Father in heaven ; truthfulness, 
soundness of doctrine, forgetfulness of self, these 
are some of the points by which we judge of the 
excellence of a hymn. Now if we judge Mr. 
Ellerton's hymns by these standards we shall find 
that they will well bear the test. It is true that 
his hymns are never pitched in the highest key of 
adoration and praise ; there is none of them that 
attempt such a seraphic flight as Heber's " Holy, 
Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty," but the element 
of praise is powerfully felt in many. With what a 
noble outburst of praise does one of his evening 
hymns open 

u Father, in Thy glorious dwelling, 
All Thy works Thy praise are telling, 

Resting neither day nor night ; 
With the hymns of Thy creation 
Let our evening- adoration 

Rise accepted in Thy sight." 

Most of the Latin hymns he selected for transla- 
tion are jubilant with praise, notably the " Alleluia 
perenne." 

It is impossible to study the volume entitled 
Hymns Original and Translated without being 
struck with the frequency with which the hymns 
it contains are addressed to the First Person of 
the Holy Trinity. There are many exceptions \ 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON'S HYMNS 167 

necessarily those on the Passion, including the 
magnificent " Throned upon the awful Tree," the 
Christmas hymns, and several of those for the other 
Festivals and Saints' Days, and the lovely hymn 
for Sunday evening, " Saviour, again to Thy dear 
Name we raise." Otherwise his finest hymns are 
addressed to the Father, e. g. " Father, in Thy 
glorious dwelling," "God of the living in Whose 
eyes," " Lift the strain of high thanksgiving," the 
translation "O Strength and Stay upholding all 
creation," and especially the two exquisite funeral 
hymns, "When the day of toil is done," and 
" Now the labourer's task is o'er." 

It is almost superfluous to say that all Mr. 
Ellerton's hymns are as conspicuous for soundness 
of doctrine as they are for truthfulness. They are 
eminently sober and reverent ; contain no fulsome 
and familiar addresses to the Divine Being such 
as spoil so many of the hymns of the last century, 
no exaggerated sentiment. Indeed, the intense 
devoutness and reverence of their author made 
this impossible. A spirit of deepest reverence runs 
through them all, and no writer was ever more 
careful not to put into the lips of a congregation 
words which, as Christians, they could not make 
their own. 

Hence it is that Mr. Ellerton's hymns arc 
eminently congregational. A well-known writer 1 
has said, "What makes Mr. Ellerton's hymns 
especially valuable over and above their high 
poetic merit is their congregational character. A 
too common fault of modern hymns is that they 
1 Henry Attwell, K.O.C, 



1 68 JOHN ELLERTON 

are suited to private devotion rather than to public 
worship, or that they assume in those for whose 
use they are destined a degree of spiritual experi- 
ence which is impossible in the young, and very 
rare in the average adult worshipper. And not 
only so ; their diction is often marred by peculi- 
arities of structure and by obscure metaphors that 
render them unfit for mixed congregations. Mr. 
Ellerton's hymns are not chargeable with either 
of these defects. Whether their tone is sad or 
jubilant, they appeal to the faith and feelings of 
young and old alike, while they are couched in 
language of such simple grace as will ensure them 
a lasting place in hymnal literature." 

Not all Mr. Ellerton's hymns have as yet been 
incorporated into the great Hymnals ; some per- 
haps never will be, for they vary much in quality. 
Some, however, the Church, having once counted 
them among her jewels of praise, will keep and 
guard to the end. " This is the day of light " will 
for many a year stand side by side with "Jam 
lucis orto sidere," and Bishop Ken's " Awake, my 
soul." " Saviour, again to Thy dear Name we 
raise," has already taken such deep root wherever 
throughout Christendom English hymns are sung 
that its immortality is secured. The older hymns 
which saw little or nothing beyond the physical 
agony of the Cross, must allow that the profoundly 
pathetic " Throned upon the awful Tree " stands 
higher than they among the hymns on the Passion, 
far higher than the Stabat mater dolorosa, which 
makes the central figure of Calvary to be, not the 
Son of God bearing the sin of the world, but the 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON'S HYMNS 169 

Blessed Virgin Mother. When we remember that 
before Mr. Ellerton began to write, the Church of 
England did not possess one really fine funeral 
hymn, for the Dies Ira is rather a meditation on 
the Day of Judgment ; when the stock hymn for 
such an occasion was " Oft as the bell with solemn 
toll," we cannot but thank God Who put it into 
the heart of His servant to write " Now the 
labourer's task is o'er," a hymn which brings 
almost daily, wherever graveside tears are falling, 
peace and comfort and assurance of hope. 

As Canon Ellerton's reputation spread he waa 
continually receiving requests from all parts of the 
world for permission to use his hymns, an act of 
courtesy which was not strictly necessary, since, as 
we have seen in his letter to Bishop E. H. Bicker- 
steth, he absolutely refused to protect them by 
copyright, regarding himself not so much their 
author, as the channel through which God had 
given them to the Church. 

As the following letter appears to concern the 
Authorized Hymnal of the American Church, it is 
of sufficient importance to quote in part. 



"Boston, U.S.A. 

"February 24, 1892. 
" REV. AND DEAR SlR, 

" At the last meeting of the Commission 
appointed by the General Convention of the 
American Episcopal Church for the revision of 
the new Hymnal, I was appointed to obtain of 
authors whose hymns it is proposed to include in 
the collection the permission for their publication. 



I/O JOHN ELLERTON 

" I therefore take the liberty to ask your per- 
mission for the publication in the new Hymnal 
of the hymns beginning 

" God of the living. 

" Hail to the Lord Who comes. 

" In the Name which earth and heaven. 

" King of Saints, to Whom the number. 

" Lift the strain of high thanksgiving. 

" Now the labourer's task is o'er. 

" O Son of God, our Captain of salvation. 

" O Thou in Whom Thy saints repose. 

" Our day of praise is done. 

" Praise to the Heavenly Wisdom. 

" Saviour, again to Thy dear Name we raise. 

" Sing, ye faithful, sing with gladness. 

" Thou Who sentest Thine Apostles. 

" We sing the glorious conquest." 

The letter contains a long postscript, asking for 
the addresses of seventeen lady hymnists, and how 
to obtain leave to use their hymns. 

In the Hymnal as published the first of the 
above was omitted, and the following were added 

" O Father, bless the children." 

" Shine Thou upon us, Lord." 

" Sing Alleluia forth in duteous praise." 

" This is the day of light." 

" Welcome, happy morning." l 

It is remarkable that the list does not include 
several which we on this side of the Atlantic count 
among the best, e.g. 

" Father, in Thy glorious dwelling." 

1 Note by Rev. J. M earns. 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON'S HYMNS I? I 

" From east to west, from shore to shore." 
" O Strength and Stay, upholding all creation." 
And above all 
" Throned upon the awful Tree." 

The following characteristic letter from another 
American applicant is worth inserting, as showing 
the estimation in which Mr. Ellerton was held by 
Transatlantic hymnologists. 



" Iowa City, 

"April 29, 1878. 

" MY DEAR SIR, 

" I have a semi-professional occasion for 
troubling you with a letter. In addition to ordinary 
parish labours, I have for many years exercised an 
obscure and unprofitable trade, which, from the 
help you gave in compiling the C. K. S. collec- 
tion, may obtain some sympathy or commiseration 
from you. In these Western wilds I am supposed 
to be something of an authority upon hymn- 
matters, and I plead guilty to the eccentricity of 
owning by far the largest Cisatlantic library of 
that sort some 2300 vols. Pursuing these devious 
paths, I have been gladdened by the late and rapid 
rising of your star, which I hail as one of high 
magnitude. You are doubtless aware that some 
of your hymns are known and loved in America. 
Our present Church Hymnal contains but four 
of them, but these are among your best. ' Saviour, 
again to Thy dear Name we raise,' is a great 
favourite. ' This is the day of light ' is the best 



1 72 JOHN ELLERTON 

of Sunday hymns, far beyond all others except 
Bishop Wordsworth's, 1 and as much above Watts's 
famous ' Welcome, sweet day of rest/ as a cultivated 
Churchman of to-day is different from the average 
Nonconformist of one hundred and seventy years 
ago. 

" ' Our day of praise is done ' I esteem very 
highly : it is perhaps too delicate and subtle to 
be extensively popular. The other is * Sing Alle- 
luia forth.' I wish our not-too-well-posted com- 
pilers had admitted more. ' Welcome, happy 
morning,' goes into the new Methodist collection 
which will presently appear. The Report, just 
printed, of their Committee gives it twelve lines, 
chiefly from your note in Borthwick's collection. 
I must thank you especially for ( O shining city 
of our God.' I know nobody else, except Pal- 
grave, who has done that kind as well ; and 
surely in the hymnody of the future, pure Robert- 
sonian strains like this must displace the coarse- 
ness of what Mr. Martineau calls 'the Messianic 
mythology.' 

" All I know about you comes from a dissenting 
book, Stevenson's Hymns for Church and Home, 
1873. He says you were 'born in London, 1826. 
Rector of Hinstock, Salop. Hymns appeared in 
Nantwich Choral Festival Book, 1866 ; ditto, 1867; 
Chester Cathedral Hymn-book, 1867; Brown- 
Borthwick's Select Hymns, 1871 ; S. P. C.K. Church 
Hymns, 1872.' With the two latter I am familiar, 
the others I never saw. I found you first in the 
Appendix to Hymns Ancient and Modern; you 
1 " O Day of rest and gladness," 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON'S HYMNS 1/3 

did not begin in time to get into Josiah Miller. 1 
I have no English books since the revised Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, 1874, and don't know what 
you may have done in the last five years. 

" May I beg for any information you choose to 
give about yourself, and specially of your hymns 
in other collections than those mentioned ? I do 
not ask from idle curiosity. I have made it a sort 
of duty to be informed on these matters, and to 
use what I acquire. 

" Two hymn-papers I would send you if I 
thought you would care for them ; one in the last 
number of our Church Review, and another soon 
to appear in a new magazine, Sunday Afternoon. 
And just now I am writing some lectures on 
English Hymnody, to be read under the auspices 
of Bishop Perry, in some sort of connection with 
a little Church College he is trying to revive at 
Davenport on the Mississippi. In these I wish to 
do justice to you. 

" If I can make any return for the favours I am, 
perhaps immodestly, asking, I beg you will com- 
mand me. If you are a collector as well as a writer 
of hymns, my duplicates are very much at your 
service. They are always more or less numerous, 
though mostly trashy. We have no hymnic origin- 
ality, and very little hymnic knowledge over here. 

" With thanks and congratulations, I am, 
" Faithfully yours, 

" FREDERIC M. BIRD." 

1 The second edition of Miller's Singers and Songs of the 
Church was published in 1869. At least fourteen of Mr 
Ellerton's hymns had appeared before that date. 



1 74 JOHN ELLERTON 

Among the dozens of letters found among 
Canon Ellerton's papers from unknown corre- 
spondents, many from places which are positively 
trying to ordinary geographical knowledge, the 
following is selected as being typical of its kind. 1 
There is something quite pathetic in the thought 
of this ardent student pursuing under so many 
disadvantages in his northern solitude his favourite 
subject. 

" The Parsonage^ Bttrravoe, Ye!/, Shetland, 
"September 7, 1894. 

"REV. SIR, 

" Please forgive me taking the liberty of 
writing to you, but for many years I have been 
very anxious to know if you have published any 
collection of hymns, or any work on hymnology, 
and as I do not know to whom I should apply, I 
have thought it better to write directly to your- 
self. 

" For several years hymns and hymnology have 
had a great attraction for me, but living so far 
out of the world as I do, I have not had the 
chance of adding much to my knowledge of so 
delightful a subject. 

" It is superfluous of me to speak of the beauty 
of your hymns in Hymns Ancient and Modem, 
especially Nos. 12, 30, 31, 37, 118, 401, 406, and 
413 ; and I cannot tell you how glad I was to see 
so many by you in the new Supplement. I have 
Mr. Thring's Hymnal, which contains several beau- 
tiful ones by you. I have been told that there are 

1 Showing that Hymns Original and Translated, published 
in 1888, had not reached the island of Yell by 1892. 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON's HYMNS 1 75 

some by you in Church Hymns (S. P. C. K.), but 
unfortunately my copy of that splendid collection 
does not have the names of the authors. I have 
heard that it is probable that Church Hymns may 
be enlarged. 

" I read with great interest your sketches of 
Hymn Writers in the Parish Magazine last year. 
I there saw for the first time the portraits of J. M. 
Neale and Isaac Williams. Might you not re- 
publish these sketches, 1 and add some more of 
other hymn writers, in book form with portraits ? 
I am sure there would be a great demand for the 
work. I also read some years ago your able 
article in the Church Monthly on ' Some famous 
Easter Hymns/ and I was especially interested in 
' Jesus Christ is risen to-day.' 2 

"Again requesting to be forgiven for troubling 
you so much, and hoping that at your convenience 
you will favour me with a reply, and tell me about 
your hymn and hymnological publications, 

" I am, Reverend Sir, 

"Yours very respectfully, 

"THOMAS MATHEWSON." 

Another enthusiastic admirer, writing from Chi- 
cago, begs for " one of your hymns in your hand- 
writing and over your signature"; adding, "If I 
were to suggest my preference, it would be for 
your hymn beginning, ' Saviour, again to Thy dear 
Name we raise/ " 

It is no slight testimony to the affection with 
which Mr. Ellerton's hymns were regarded that 
1 See p. 301. - See p. 391. 



176 JOHN ELLERTON 

some should be translated into Latin. The follow- 
ing elegant version of " The day Thou gavest, 
Lord, is ended," is rendered still more valuable 
by the complimentary letter which accompanied 

it. 

" Malvern House, St. A I bans, 

" August 9, 1892. 
"MY DEAR SIR, 

" I have interested myself when laid by 
for a month through ill-health with a study of 
English hymns, and I venture to send you one 
of your own in a Latin dress. If it interests you 
for a few moments I shall be paying back some 
of the pleasure with which I have read and re-read 
the beautiful lines of the original. 

" I must beg you, if you find time to look at 
my parody, to remember that the central thought 
of the hymn is unclassical, and consequently hard 
to make intelligible in Latin. 
" Believe me, 

" Yours very faithfully, 

" HARRY W. SMITH. 
"CANON ELLERTON." 



THE DAY THOU GAVEST, LORD, IS ENDED." 

" Jam, Deus, accepit lux a Te praebita finem, 

Processit jussu nox tenebrosa Tuo. 
Te matutino grati celebravimus ore, 

Inque Tua solem condere laude juvat. 
Nos somnum petimus : terrarum hie maximus orbis 

Volvitur interea persequiturque diem : 
Nunc hie mine illic Ecclesia sancta perenni 

Pervigilat, laudes attribuitque, vice. 



CRITICAL ESTIMATE OF ELLERTON'S HYMNS 177 

Jam rapit hie Aurora diem, mox suscitat illic, 

Et cunctos sensim mobile lumen adit ; 
Consequitur cum luce chorus laudesque piorum, 

Atque ubicunque dies panditur, hymnus adest. 
Oui nobis abiens requiem tulit, excitat idem 

Hesperios surgens sol, oriturque novus. 
Hora ut mutatur, vocum mutabilis ordo 

Laudem auscultanti dat sine fine Deo. 
Media succubuit : periit Romana potestas : 

Christe, Tuus nullo limite crescit honos. 
Regnabis, donee nullo non hoste subacto 

Ouidquid fecisti, pareat omne Tibi." 

H. W. S, 



M 



CHAPTER VIII 
CONCLUSION 

IN the foregoing pages we have endeavoured to 
give a sketch of Canon Ellerton's literary work, 
in which hymnody of course holds the most con- 
spicuous place. From the days of his curacy at 
Brighton to the last fatal attack which told him 
that " the labourer's task was o'er," his devotion to 
this one object was unceasing. He was the chief 
compiler and editor of the two important hymn- 
books, Church Hymns and the Children's Hymn 
Book, and joint compiler of the last edition of that 
great hymnal which, above all others, is dearest to 
the heart of the English Church, Hymns Ancient 
and Modern. He edited or assisted in editing 
Hymns for Schools and Bible Classes, the Temper- 
ance Hymn-Book, the London Mission Hymn-Book. 
His advice was sought in the compiling the last 
edition of the admirable Hymnal Companion to the 
Book of Common Prayer ; in fact, it is no exagger- 
ation to say, that his hand may be traced and his 
voice heard in every hymn-book of importance 
published during the last thirty years ; while no 
less than eighty-six hymns, original or translated, 
proceeded from his own pen. 

We have seen, too, that his prose works were 
both numerous and valuable ; and if we were to 
178 



CONCLUSION 179 

add to these the mass of sermons he wrote during 
his ministerial life, we must own that few ever 
dedicated the talents committed to them more 
unreservedly, more faithfully to the Master's service 
than John Ellerton. 

It is a comparatively easy thing to speak of a 
man's work, for indeed that speaks for itself; but 
to speak of the man himself, to endeavour to make 
others see what he was to those who knew him, 
this is a far harder task. John Ellerton was the 
truest and sincerest of friends, and his friendship 
is a golden memory to those who were privileged 
to share it. He was the most delightful of com- 
panions, and no one could be long in his company 
without being struck with the vast range of his 
information ; it seemed impossible to bring forward 
a subject in which he felt no interest, or on which 
he had not bestowed some thought and study. 
With the entomologist he was as much at home 
with the Tineae and Tortrices as with the Sphinxes 
and Fritillaries; with the geologist he would delight 
in a collection of fossils, and in their silent forms 
his poetic imagination would see the creatures 
which lived and enjoyed their lives in bygone ages. 
He was a zealous antiquary, and the ruins 'of an 
abbey or a collection of coins would elicit from 
him remarks which showed the largeness of his 
acquaintance with history ; in fact, he thoroughly 
came up to that well-known standard of an educated 
man to know something of everything, and every- 
thing of something, and this last " something " was 
hymns. Hymns were his joy and delight. It was 
impossible to mention a hymn, whatever its origin 



180 JOHN ELLERTON 

Greek, Latin, English, French, German, or Danish 
but at once he told you its author and history. 
When lying half-unconscious on his death-bed, 
hymn after hymn flowed from his lips in a never- 
ending stream. But his poems, as we have seen, 
were not all hymns. " He could write," says one 
who knew him, " charming sonnets, all of which 
proved his command over English, his admiration 
for the beautiful in Art and in Nature, purity of 
thought, and tender sympathy combined with 
manliness." But the most remarkable trait of his 
character was his intense lovingness always mak- 
ing the best of and doing his best for others, never 
thinking of himself. All good men loved him, and 
his friends generally spoke, indeed speak of him 
still, as "dear Ellerton." 

What he was in his own family, how thoroughly 
he entered into the amusements and recreation of 
his children, showing his love for and sympathy 
with young people, it is not for these pages to 
unveil. What he was in his parish would be best 
understood by hearing him spoken of by those 
among whom he ministered ; all who so remember 
him love to speak of his tender sympathy with 
them in all their troubles and trials, identifying 
himself with them alike in their joys and in their 
sorrows. It has already been mentioned how, 
when he held a Mission in Brighton in 1890, the 
old people who remembered him thirty years before 
flocked to see his beloved face, to hear his kindly 
voice, once more. In the pulpit calm, thoughtful, 
scholarly he had few equals ; while his reading 
had a peculiar charm, and the pathos he threw 






CONCLUSION l8l 

into such passages as the last chapter of Ecclesiastes, 
or David's lament over Saul and Jonathan, will 
never be forgotten by those who heard him. As a 
missioner too and during his seven years at White 
Roding he conducted many Missions and Quiet 
Days, notably one to the Chichester Theological 
College in 1889 his devotional addresses were 
deeply impressive. 

Yes, dear Ellerton, would that I could offer a 
worthier tribute to thy memory than these poor 
words, in which thy pure and holy life is so feebly 
sketched. To have been thy friend and fellow- 
worker is indeed a privilege on which it will ever 
be a delight to look back ; the thought that we 
may meet again, if indeed I should be accounted 
worthy to rest where thou art resting, gives renewed 
energy to press forward to that home where, as 
thou didst sing, there is peace, and light, and joy, 
and love, and life for evermore. To thee, whose 
chiefest joy it was to put words of praise and 
thanksgiving; resignation and peace, into the lips 
of God's children here, as midst temptations and 
sorrows they journey onward towards the golden 
gates of the city where they would be ; surely in that 
day, when the multitude of the Redeemed which 
no man can number shall mingle their voices with 
those of cherubim and seraphim in the great seven- 
fold ascription of salvation to Him who sitteth 
upon the throne and unto the Lamb, to thee 
will be given a place of high honour in that 
celestial company, where the joy which thou hadst 
on earth in the voice of praise and thanksgiving 
shall be fulfilled. 



PAPERS ON 
HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS 



CHURCH CONGRESS AND OTHER 
PAPERS 

MAINLY ON THE SUBJECT OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL. 

The first four of the following papers are among the earliest 
of Canon Ellerton's contributions to Hymnology. They 
appeared in the Churchmaris Family Magazine, a 
periodical since defunct, in 1864. The first is intro- 
ductory to the second, tracing the history of English 
Hymnody down to the publication of Hymns Ancient 
and Modern. The second discusses the question whether 
one Authorized Hymnal would be of advantage to the 
Church or otherwise, and the answer is distinctly in the 
negative. The third discusses fully the canons of criticism 
by which a hymn should be judged. The fourth contains 
practical suggestions concerning congregational singing 
and the choice of hymns and the tunes, although the 
excellent hymnals now in use render some of the remarks 
somewhat obsolete. 

Of the date or occasion of the concluding paper, " Modern 
Theology as shown by Modern Hymnody," found among 
the Canon's MSS,, I can learn nothing ; but as a just 
and thoughtful review of Nonconformist hymns it is well 
worth preserving. 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 185 



NO. I 

ON SOME PECULIARITIES IN THE PAST HISTORY 
OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 

THERE is scarcely any event in the history of 
our Church worship during the past sixty years 
so great and so remarkable as the substitution of 
Hymns for metrical Psalms. It is great, because 
it involves a change in the whole character of our 
Common Praise as important as that which the 
adoption of a new Office for morning and evening 
service would make in that of our Common Prayer. 
It is remarkable, because we English Church people 
hate all innovation, especially unauthorized innova- 
tion, and this is entirely unauthorized ; because we 
hold fast to the traditions of our Reformation, and 
this is wholly contrary to its traditions ; because 
we like in such matters to be led by our rulers in 
Church and State, and they have been the last, 
instead of the first, to sanction this. It came to 
us from an unwelcome source from the Dissenters, 
eminently from the Methodists ; it was first adopted 
by those of the clergy who sympathized most with 
them ; for many long years it was that dreaded 
thing, a " party badge " ; but it held its ground 
until wise men of all parties began to recognize its 
value. First as supplementary to the New Version, 
and then as replacing it, hymns found their way 
into hitherto inaccessible quarters ; and the revolu- 
tion is at last complete. 

I regard this movement with unmixed thankful- 



1 86 HYMNOLOGY 

ness ; and I would fain hope my readers do so too. 
Besides the greatest benefit of all, that our service 
of praise is so much more distinctively and speci- 
ally Christian than before, as being based upon the 
truths we confess in our Creeds, there are two 
other advantages, scarcely less important, which 
have resulted from it. This substitution of Hymnals 
for a metrical Psalter is valuable, not as a disuse 
of the Psalms, but as a restoration of them to their 
right use. I believe that we shall now more than 
ever learn the true value of our really authorized 
Psalter, that matchless fragment of our lost 
" Bishops' Bible," not as an edifying lectionary, but 
as an exhaustless treasury of praise ; and that its 
use in song will not be limited to " Choral Services " 
and large churches, but will become in course of 
time a regular part of the Sunday worship of nearly 
every village congregation. And if, by the means 
of good and simple chants, we learn thus to use 
our Psalms, we shall, I hope, in due time, get to 
use them less rigidly. Foreign ritualists (Protestant 
as well as Roman) smile at our clumsy English 
way of cutting up our Psalter into sixty equal bits, 
and binding ourselves down under heavy penalties 
to sing or say precisely the same words upon the 
same day of the month, whether it be in Advent 
or Easter whether it be a service of supplication 
or of thanksgiving, a "Lent Lecture," a School 
Feast, a day of local or national mourning, or a 
Harvest Festival, an Episcopal Visitation, or a 
gathering of choirs. But the rule has something 
to say for itself; of this, as of many of our peculiar 
usages, we can give a good practical account. If, 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 187 

however, the " custom which has become a rule " 
permits us to sing hymns selected for the occasion 
at "special services," may we not hope that selections 
of specially suitable Psalms will ere long follow ? 

But there is yet another reason why we may 
rejoice in this great change. Our Prayer-book has 
been hitherto our great link with the worship of 
the Past. Through it we are heirs of the best 
devotions of Christ's Church, from the time of the 
Apostles to the day in which the last revision was 
made. But there, as a matter of necessity, the 
golden chain has stopped. I do not think we can 
add any more links of the same shape. Even if 
we need additional services, it is hard to conceive 
of modern forms which we could endure to hear 
within the same walls as the old. But the work 
which our prayers began, our hymns must now 
supplement and continue. One whole storehouse 
of ancient devotion, of which the key was lost with 
the Latin Offices, is unlocked anew. Cranmer 
could render their prayers so felicitously that our 
versions are better than the originals. The dross 
was purged away, and the metal moulded into 
forms more beautiful than ever. But the gift of 
translating their hymns was denied him ; melodious 
English verse was then unknown. 1 On the other 

1 Cramner's version of Venantius's processional Easter 
hymn " Salve Festa Dies " (a great favourite with our fathers; 
see Latimer's contemptuous reference to it, Serm. xii. 207), 
attempted " for a proof to see how English would do in a 
song," was sent to Henry VIII. in 1544 (apparently), with 
other " Processions, to be used on festival days." But he 
evidently mistrusted himself; and he worked against the 



1 88 HYMNOLOGY 

hand, while the English Church now has none who 
could adapt mediaeval prayers like Cranmer, she 
has already produced, within the last twenty years, 
most admirable versions of nearly every great 
mediaeval hymn ; versions constructed if not with 
the skill, at least exactly upon the principle on 
which our collects were adapted from the Leonine, 
Gelasian, and Gregorian sacramentaries, of silently 
dropping or modifying the word or phrase here 
and there inconsistent with the Reformed doctrine, 
while that which is a witness for our real unity of 
faith is carefully preserved. 1 While we thus have 



grain, and at Henry's express desire. Cranmer's Works, vol. 
ii. p. 412, ed. Parker Society. This hymn has now been 
translated by Mr. Neale, Hymnal Noted, 79. See p. 50. 

1 See on this point the interesting essay on "Ancient 
Collects in the Prayer-book," appended to Mr. Bright's 
Ancient Collects. As examples of hymns treated in the 
same spirit with great success, I may notice St. Thomas 
Aquinas's "Adoro Te Devote" (in Hymns Ancient and 
Modern, 206), and Venantius's " Vexilla Regis" (in the 
Church Hymnal, published by Bell and Daldy, No. 71). I 
need not remark that there is no dishonesty in this adaptation 
of ancient hymns ; the object is not to show what Aquinas 
or Venantius really wrote (which any one who wishes to find 
out may easily ascertain), but to present the leading ideas of 
their hymns in such a form as it may be fit for a Reformed 
Church to offer to God. But the extent to which it is either 
fair or wise to depart from the actual text of a hymn, whether 
in translating or merely transcribing it, is a question which 
I must reserve for further discussion. Venantius's hymn 
was written for a procession carrying a relic of the " True 
Cross." It is translated very literally, but with great vigour, 
in Hymnal Noted, 22. Those who have the right clue to its 
comprehension will see that, as it there stands, it is quite 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 189 

fresh ties to bind us to the ancient Church, we 
can now at length avail ourselves of the spiritual 
development of the Universal Church since the 
Reformation. Whatever hindrances there may be 
to external communion with foreign Churches, we 
are surely drawing near to our brethren in a most 
real and blessed way, when we thus draw near to 
God with the words of their wisest and holiest 
men. The same may be said of those who have 
separated from our own communion. The voice 
of Christian life among them has chiefly found 
expression in sacred song ; and when we take the 
best of their hymns into our own service books, 
we take that which is most precious and most 
lasting in their religious utterances. And lastly, 
the living and growing Church of our own day 
pours her spiritual life into her hymn-books. Long 
did that fresh stream chafe and beat against the 
rigid barrier of an imagined authority, which kept 
out from our churches all but the two " allowed " 
versions of the Psalms. Some small leakage 
indeed there was ; one or two hymns found their 
way in. Even Tate and Brady could not keep 



inconsistent with the spirit of our services ; to those who 
have not this clue, it must appear simply unmeaning. Again, 
there is a far more famous hymn of Aquinas's, the " Pange 
lingua gloriosi Corporis Mysterium," which has now been 
translated and revised many times, but will never be tuned 
to harmonize with our own Communion Office ; and it would 
be strange if it could, seeing that it was written by the most 
acute theologian of his day to express precisely that very 
form (the Paschasian) of Eucharistic doctrine which our 
Church has deliberately repudiated. 



1 90 HYMNOLOGY 

Ken out of our churches. And when, by a bold 
stroke, it is said, of some pious University printer, 1 
one or two of Wesley's and Doddridge's hymns 
("Hark! the herald angels sing," "High let us 
swell our tuneful notes," " My God, and is Thy 
table spread ") were appended to an edition of the 
New Version, they were tacitly accepted as covered 
by the authority which was supposed to sanction 
the Psalter. Now however, that, not by State enact- 
ments, Order in Council, or vote of Convocation, 
but by the quiet yet irresistible influence of the 
good sense and Christian feeling of her congrega- 
tions, the Church stands committed to the use of 
hymns, the warmth and power of her worship is 
felt to be enormously increased. It is cheering to 
hear of a foreign observer like M. Taine (Histoire 
de la Litterature Anglaise] speaking with respect 
and astonishment of English hymns, and the 
enthusiasm with which we sing them. What 
Frenchman's heart would have warmed to us over 
the New Version ? 

As an illustration of the spiritual wealth we 
have acquired by breaking through our old tradi- 
tions, let us, before proceeding farther, compare 
the materials for our thanksgivings at this Easter 
season forty or fifty years ago, in an "orthodox" 
church, with those which are to be found now, in 
three or four of the best of our hymnals. The 
Easter Anthems, the Proper Psalms, the Eucharistic 
Preface, are still the same. But for metrical 
hymnody, that which, as Sir F. Ouseley has well 

1 Oxford Essays, 1858. Hymns and Hymn Writers, by 
Rev : C. B. Pearson, 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 19 1 

shown, 1 is especially the part of the whole congre- 
gation in the service of praise, we had our one 
quaint and well-known "Jesus Christ is risen to- 
day," and two very prosaic paraphrases of the 
anthems already sung. But what is the case now ? 
The Latin Church may be represented by two of 
its very noblest hymns, "Aurora Lucis" and "Ad 
ccenam Agni " (Hymns Ancient and Modern, 126 
and 127), as well as by the "Victimse Paschali," 
which the Lutheran Church has always retained 
(Hymns Ancient and Modern, 131), and by several 
others of less interest ; the Eastern Churches by 
(let us say) Mr. Neale's two hymns from St. John 
of Damascus " 'Tis the day of resurrection " and 
" Come, ye faithful, raise the strain ; " the ancient 
Bohemian Church by " Christus ist erstanden " 
(Hymns Ancient and Modern, 136); the Reforma- 
tion by Luther's " Christ lag in Todesbanden " 
(Mercer, 104) ; later Lutheranism by several ex- 
cellent hymns, conspicuous among them Gellert's 
"Jesus lebt" (Hymns Ancient and Modern, 140). 
Wesley supplies us with one of his best hymns, 
" Christ the Lord is risen to-day;" Watts with 
" Hosanna to the Prince of Light ; " Kelly with 
" Come, see the place where Jesus lay ; " Mont- 
gomery with " Songs of praise the angels sang ; " 
and, of course, very many more might be enumer- 
ated. Is it possible to over-estimate the influence 
of such a change upon the next generation of 
Churchmen ? 

The result of this general acceptance of hymns 
by worshippers of every school in our Church is, 
Family Magazine, July 1864. 



192 HYMNOLOGY 

of course, that just at present her Hymnody is in 
a state which may be well termed chaotic. No 
one has authorized the use of any hymn-book 
whatever, though most of our Bishops have now 
recommended, or at least approved, some one or 
more ; the field is open to unrestricted competi- 
tion, or at least restricted only by the law of 
copyright ; each clergyman may compile a fresh 
Hymn-book for his own congregation, if he have 
time, money, and patience ; the five or six best- 
known selections, especially those which are printed 
as Chorale books with music, have each its follow- 
ing of enthusiastic supporters. Thousands are 
now interested in the subject of hymns, where but 
hundreds a few years ago knew of any but the two 
or three above mentioned, which had strayed, no 
one knew how, between the covers of the "New 
Version " ; the bolder spirits are searching high 
and low, from the Oratory to the Camp Meeting, 
for fresh materials ; while the more cautious are 
eagerly imploring, with English love of law, the 
authorities in Church and State to give the National 
Church her one Common Hymn-book, to be bound 
up with her Common Prayer-book, and so to put 
a stop to the confusion. 

I purpose, in the following papers, to consider 
how this movement may be best turned to account 
for the glory of God and the edification of His 
Church ; whether it is possible or expedient that 
our Church should have one general hymn-book ; 
what are the sources available for such a book, and 
the principles on which it ought to be compiled ; 
and what may in the meantime be done by indi- 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 193 

vidual Churchmen, and especially by the clergy, 
towards directing and consolidating the improve- 
ment in our service of praise. 

But before entering on this investigation, I must 
call the attention of my readers to some peculi- 
arities in the past history of English Hymns. 

I said at the outset of my paper that the use of 
hymns in our public worship, as distinguished from 
metrical Psalms, was wholly contrary to the tradi- 
tions of our Reformation. And this brings me to 
the first peculiarity in the history of our Hymnody, 
its comparatively recent groivth. 

Now I am quite aware that the statement I 
have just made as to our Reformers is very likely 
to be questioned. There is no doubt that, at the 
beginning of the Reformation, the feeling was in 
favour of continuing the use of the ancient hymns, 
and that with this view attempts were made to 
translate them into English. In Henry VIII.'s 
Primer of 1545, eight of the Ambrosian hymns for 
the Canonical Hours, translated probably by the 
king himself, were inserted in their proper places, 
with the other offices for the Hours. These were 
reprinted, Mr. Clay tells us, 1 several times down 
to 1552. But in 1553, when Genevan influence 
had become powerful over our Reformers, a new 
Primer was put forth, from which these hymns 
disappeared. They were revived in two or three 
Primers published early in Elizabeth's reign, but 
not, it would seem, later than 1575. And these, 
of course, were not for church singing, but for use 

1 Private Prayers put forth by Authority dtiring the Reign 
of Queen Elizabeth. Ed. Parker Society. Preface, p. 10, 

N 



194 IIYMNOLOGY 

in private devotion. The only metrical hymn 
authorized for use in church was the Veni Creator 
in the Ordinal of 1549, retained, with a good many 
alterations, to our own day. It is interesting, by 
the way, to compare this with the shorter Long 
Metre version, inserted in the Ordinal at the last 
revision, 1661 a remarkable improvement upon 
the diffuse and prosaic Edwardian hymn, both in 
vigour and accuracy ; if to these we add the versions 
usually appended to Tate and Brady's Psalter, and 
finally Mr. Caswall's version l (Lyra Catholica, p. 
103), we shall have a very fair specimen of the 

1 As the Lyra Catholica is now a scarce book, I subjoin 
the most literal of Mr. Caswall's versions 

" Come, O Creator, Spirit blest ! 
And in our souls take up Thy rest ; 
Come with Thy grace and heavenly aid, 
To fill the hearts which Thou hast made. 

Great Paraclete ! to Thee we cry : 
O highest gift of God most high ! 
O fount of life ! O fire of love ! 
And sweet Anointing from above ! 

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts art known ; 
Thee Finger of God's hand we own ; 
The promise of the Father Thou ! 
Who dost the tongue with power endow. 

Kindle our senses from above, 
And make our hearts o'erflow with love ; 
With patience firm, and virtue high, 
The weakness of our flesh supply. 

Far from us drive the foe we dread, 
And grant us Thy true peace instead ; 
So shall we not, with Thee for guide, 
Turn from the path of life aside. 






TAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH IIYMNODY 1 95 

powers of the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, 
and nineteenth centuries respectively, in translating 
an ancient hymn. 

The taste for metrical psalmody sprang up rapidly 
among us in the sixteenth century. But the 
question to be decided was, whether the words to 
be sung should be strictly versified Psalms, as 
those of Marot and Beza, or hymns, as those of 
Luther, sometimes translated Catholic hymns, 
sometimes paraphrases of Psalms or other portions 
of Scripture, or rather free imitations of them, 
sometimes purely original hymns. Germany had 
already the old hymns of the Bohemian brethren, 
and a few others. They became the nucleus of 
her subsequent collections. Luther encouraged, 
by every possible means, the multiplication and 
use of good hymns ; and the Evangelical Churches 
became pre-eminently the hymn-singing Churches. 
In imitation of Luther, Coverdale published Goostly 
Psalmes and Spirituall Songes, many of them 
translations from Luther, some of them from Latin 
hymns, some versified Psalms, and a few original. 
These were published with music, purposely for 
social and domestic use ; but they were at once 
forbidden by Henry VIII. in 1539. On the other 

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow, 

The Father and the Son to know, 

And Thee through endless times confess'd 

Of Both th' eternal Spirit blest. 

All glory, while the ages run, 

Be to the Father, and the Son 

Who rose from death ; the same to Thee, 

O Holy Ghost, eternally." 



196 HYMNOLOGY 

hand, Sternhold, Henry's Groom of the Robes, 
began, in evident imitation of Marot, his version 
of the Psalms, thirty-seven of which were published 
in the year of his death, 1549, ten years after 
Coverdale's hymn-book. Psalm-singing became 
popular ; suppressed under Mary, it revived at 
once under Elizabeth. In March 1560 Jewel 
writes to Peter Martyr : " As soon as they had 
once commenced singing in public, in only one 
little church in London, immediately not only the 
churches in the neighbourhood, but even the towns 
far distant, began to vie with each other in the 
same practice. You may now sometimes see at 
Paul's Cross, after the service, six thousand persons, 
old and young, of both sexes, all singing together 
and praising God." 1 This popular movement 
soon gave rise to a warm controversy ; one party 
advocated part-singing, the re-introduction of 
organs, and, in the larger churches, what we now 
call Choral service. The others were zealous for 
metrical tunes only, sung in unison, and unac- 
companied, as Jewel describes. 2 It would seem 
that Queen Elizabeth's well-known Injunction, 
permitting " that at the beginning of common 
prayer, either at morning or evening service, there 
may be sung an hymn, or such like song, to the 

1 Zurich Letters, i. p. 71. 

2 Ibid. p. 164. Cartwright, in 1573, in his Defence of 
the Admonition, shows us that the Puritan demand was 
specifically for "no other singing than is used in the 
Reformed Churches (i . c. the Calvinistic), which is, the sing- 
ing of two psalms, one in the beginning, and another in the 
ending, in a plain tune." 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 197 

praise of Almighty God," was really a concession 
to the advocates of metrical as against chanted 
psalms. The mention of a " hymn " must not 
mislead us ; the two names were as yet among the 
people used interchangeably. No new translations 
from the Latin service books would now have 
been tolerated by those who were fresh from the 
days when these service books had been forced 
upon the people by the terrors of the stake ; and 
the many who still clung to the old faith clung 
also to the old language, and did not want that 
new Protestant thing, congregational singing. Thus 
it came to pass that, even if our people would 
have sung hymns, there were scarcely any for them 
to sing. I say, scarcely any, for we have a few 
real hyrnns of this age. A few were appended to 
the Psalter of 1562, our Old Version. Among 
these we find metrical versions of all the canticles 
(a proof of the popular dislike of chanting them, 
stupidly misunderstood by Tate and Brady, who 
proceeded to versify them anew in the eighteenth 
century) as well as of the Lord's Prayer, the 
Apostles' and Athanasian Creeds, and the Ten 
Commandments. We have also Mardley's " Humble 
Suit of a Sinner," and the better known " Lamenta- 
tion of a Sinner ; " another " Lamentation " ; the 
Veni Creator of 1549; a really beautiful "Prayer 
to the Holy Ghost, to be sung before the sermon," 
and a long " Thanksgiving at the receiving of the 
Lord's Supper." In some editions was inserted a 
translation, by Robert Wisdome, of Luther's " Song 
against Pope and Turk," beginning " Preserve us, 
Lord, by Thy dear Word." To the Accession 



198 HYMNOLOGY 

Service, issued by authority in 1578, were added 
three hymns, the best of which, " As for Thy gifts 
we render praise," has been lately admitted by Dr. 
Kennedy into his Hynmologia Christiana ; another 
is an acrostic on " God save the Queene," " to the 
tune of the 25th Psalm " ! A few more might be 
mentioned, but they are exceptions which prove 
the rule. No hymns were furnished for the great 
Church festivals, or for the course of Church 
seasons ; none appeared with that power which 
seems to belong to almost every really great hymn, 
of provoking imitations and sequels. The sacred 
poets of Elizabeth's reign vied with one another 
in versifying Psalms, and the rising school of com- 
posers in setting those Psalms to music. In short, 
the Church of England followed the lead of the 
Calvinist rather than of the Lutheran Churches. 
This is the true explanation of the reproach some- 
times cast upon us, that we are two centuries 
behind Germany in hymns. 1 It is vain now to 
speculate on what might have been ; how Sidney, 
and Sandys, and, above all, Milton, might have 
given us immortal hymns instead of very dis- 
appointing versions ; how Drummond might have 
continued his good work of putting the songs of 
St. Ambrose and St. Gregory into an English 
dress ; how Herbert might have served yet better 
the Church he loved so well, had he been able to 
offer some contributions to her worship ; how Ken 
might have become the Angelus of England, could 
he have foreseen that his holy words would have 

1 See an interesting paper by the Rev. W. F. Stevenson 
in Good Words for 1863, p. 538. 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH IIYMNODY 199 

been auxiliaries, not to the bedside devotions of a 
few scholars only, but to the congregational singing 
of thousands. But the opportunities were lost. 
Those two great centuries, the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth, so rich and fruitful for the Church and the 
nation in all else, the ages of our noblest. Christian 
poetry, of our best theology, of our profoundest 
learning, of our highest pulpit eloquence ; ages of 
conflict and suffering for the faith and the order 
of the Church ; ages abounding in ardent, loyal, 
devout men ; ages in which religious questions 
were the most deeply felt and most passionately 
discussed of all questions ; yet have contributed 
nothing, or next to nothing, to the permanent store 
of the Church's songs. 1 While, on the other hand, 
the true Hymnody of England begins in the much- 
abused eighteenth century, the age whose poetry, 
as Hare says, was prose, as the prose of the seven- 
teenth had been poetry ; the age of scepticism in 
religion, frivolity in taste, laxity in morals ; the 
age of evidences, not of convictions ; of toleration, 
not of enthusiasm; an age which sentimentalists 
think a dead level of dulness ; when the devout 
Churchman had become a tiresome formalist, and 
the brave and earnest Puritan a prudent and 
prosperous Dissenter. Then it was that, from the 

1 From a tolerably extensive knowledge of English hymns, 
I have been led to the conviction that, of the many thousands 
now in use, not above a hundred at most are of an earlier 
date than 1700 ; and I doubt whether half of these were 
written for public worship. Of course I leave out of count 
translations, and the curious Welsh hymns of Rees Pritchard 
and others. 



200 IIYMNOLOGY 

pleasant arbour of Sir Thomas Abney's suburban 
villa, his invalid guest, the gentle Nonconformist 
minister, sent forth at intervals the first really 
congregational hymns which had appeared since 
the reign of Elizabeth. The Church, for the most 
part idle and corrupt, through the earlier years of 
that melancholy half-century, took small heed of 
what the little Doctor wrote, and what the decorous 
tea-tables of Stoke Newington admired ; but to 
the Dissenters the work of Isaac Watts was a 
greater boon even than they thought, and the 
Church in due time came to recognize its value. 
He was, if I may so speak, the founder of a school 
of hymnists, of which Doddridge is the most 
illustrious member. I have never myself felt much 
affection for this school ; I have little sympathy 
with Watts's theology ; and his verse seems to me 
sadly encumbered with the artificial conceits and 
tinsel ornaments, now grievously tarnished, of his 
age. Yet there is in many of their hymns a power 
of faith and love which still lives and glows. Even 
in our own Church, some of them, we may venture 
to say, will never be forgotten or superseded. 

The new fashion, it is to be observed, was strictly 
Nonconformist. I do not know how soon our 
Church adopted it, though I am acquainted with 
a parish church in which Watts's Psalms and 
Hymns were sung more than a hundred years ago, 
and are in use to this day. Among the few devout 
and ascetic Churchmen the observance of the 
Canonical Hours, which the Nonjurors had revived, 
and which perhaps had never wholly been laid 
aside since the days of Cosin, had led to the 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 2OI 

private use of the hymns of Austin and Ken. It 
is probable, also, that the custom of introducing 
special anthems on the occasion of charity sermons 
and the like, may have early led to the adoption 
of an occasional hymn or ode to be performed by 
the singers. But this was not congregational 
worship ; and even among the Dissenters the 
hymn was still subsidiary to the metrical Psalm. 
Doddridge's hymns were written each with refer- 
ence to one of his sermons, and intended to be 
sung before or after it ; a fashion which John 
Newton afterwards introduced for a time at 
Olney. 

But a greater movement was at hand. In 1738 
John Wesley returned home from America, and 
he and his brother Charles began to found their 
Societies. As is well known, they were for a time 
intimately associated with the United Brethren, 
and this connection had an important effect both 
upon the form which the Wesleyan discipline 
assumed, and upon the means by which its 
devotional fervour was sustained. For the first 
time, men bred up in the English Church, and 
men bred up in the Lutheran Churches, learned to 
understand and value one another; and though 
too soon their friendship came to an end, yet to 
that brief intimacy, more than to any other single 
cause, the Church of England owes the revival of 
her hymnody. From the Moravians the Wesleys 
borrowed not only the text of many good German 
hymns, but the precedent for their abundant and 
continual use ; and one of the two brothers, at 
least, was nobly inspired by their example. Charles 



202 1IYMNOLOGY 

Wesley, living and dying an English clergyman, 
loving to the last the Church from which he at 
least had never dreamed of separating, produced, 
during the fifty years which followed, a store of 
hymns from among which we may select not a few 
that will bear comparison with those of any age 
and any country. He is the true founder of our 
second great school of hymnists, more fervent, 
thoughtful, and subjective than the first ; a school 
which includes not only his own immediate co- 
adjutors and even his rivals, but many an honoured 
name besides, both within and without our Church, 
from Cowper to Montgomery. 1 

The third school belongs to our own day, and 
is the result of the influence of Ancient, as the 
second was of German hymns. I forbear to speak 
of it here, because I am not now writing the history 
of English hymnody, but merely commenting upon 
a few of its peculiarities. The fact of its recent 
origin is of importance to us, in our estimate of 
the stage we have now reached in our hymns, and 
in our investigation of the possibility or desirability 
of an authorized Hymnal. 

But connected with this late maturity there is 
another feature in our Hymnody worth notice, its 
peculiarly personal and subjective character. Com- 
pare an Ambrosian morning hymn with one of 
Watts's or Charles Wesley's. Ken's is indeed 

1 Toplady, the doctrinal antagonist of the Wesleys, yet 
really, as a devotional poet, belongs to Charles Wesley's 
school The hymns of the one have been frequently attributed 
to the other. There is a distinct school of Calvinistic 
hymnists, but it is of little importance. 






PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 2O3 

written for private devotion, but Watts's " My 
God, how endless is Thy love," and Wesley's 
" Christ, Whose glory fills the skies," were each of 
them included by its author in an avowedly 
congregational collection. " Jam Lucis " (Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, i) is childlike in its simplicity 
of feeling, for it belongs to the childhood of the 
Church. Not merely the plural number, but the 
generality of its expressions, shows that it was 
written with a view to being sung by many 
worshippers, who had indeed a sense of common 
wants and trials, dangers and sins, but had not 
yet learned to estimate the individuality of each 
separate soul, its difference from its kind, its 
personal responsibility to God. The very allusion 
to that which is so private a matter for each one, 
as the habit of abstinence in food, shows that there 
had not yet dawned upon the Church the thought 
of how differently each one is constituted from his 
neighbours, physically as well as spiritually, and 
of how little avail general rules and prescriptions 
can be in that inner world of consciousness which 
is the battle-field of the carnal and spiritual will. 
But the spirit of self-dedication and dependence 
which animates Watts's hymn, and the yet deeper 
cries of the dark and cheerless heart for the light 
and warmth of communion with its Lord, which 
breathe through Wesley's, though they belong 
essentially to all true worship, yet could scarcely 
have found utterance in congregational worship, 
till the time was come when the direct responsi- 
bility to God of the individual conscience, and its 
true dignity as the means by which His Word 



204 HYMNOLOGY 

acts upon the human will, were recognized and 
acknowledged by all. 

How strongly this subjective character is marked 
in the later German hymns which are now be- 
coming so common among us, a cursory glance at 
any collection of them will show. But in some of 
our English hymns of the second school notably 
in some of Cowper's written under deep religious 
depression it assumes a form which makes it 
necessary, I am convinced, that they should be 
excluded from the worship of the congregation, 
and reserved to guide and elevate the individual 
in moments of private meditation and prayer. 
Because a hymn may be in itself true and beautiful, 
it is not therefore of necessity fit for use in Church ; 
and cannot be made so, as some compilers seem to 
think, merely by the substitution of the plural for 
the singular in its personal pronouns. To this 
point, however, I shall have to recur hereafter ; for 
it is one of the most important and one of the 
most difficult questions connected with our future 
hymnody, what place this later element must find 
for itself; how we can best combine hymns ancient 
and modern and thoughts ancient and modern, in 
our united worship. On the one hand, we cannot 
but feel, after long dwelling among the pathetic 
and introspective hymns of later times, a craving 
for the simpler and calmer language of the Ancient 
Church ; for hymns which draw our minds outward 
and upward, which make the Trinity and the 
Incarnation, rather than the Atonement, their 
central thought ; which tell of the source, rather 
than the process of sanctification. We cannot do 



PAST HISTORY OF ENGLISH HYMNODY 20$ 

without the bracing and refreshing influence of 
the ancient hymn. And on the other hand we 
cannot ignore the growth of the Church out of 
her childhood, the actual presence among us of 
thoughts unknown to the ancient worshippers ; 
and therefore no mere collection of ancient hymns, 
be their translations as spirited as Neale's and 
as melodious as Chandler's, will satisfy the Church 
now. Experimental religion, as the last generation 
called it, must be represented in our worship. 
But surely no part of our task requires such sound 
judgment, such refined taste and feeling, such 
clear spiritual insight, such a combination of 
wisdom and charity, of honesty and reverence, in 
him who would undertake it, as the adjustment 
of these conflicting claims. He must indeed be 
a scribe instructed unto the kingdom of heaven, 
who shall be able thus to bring out of the Church's 
treasury things new and old, and to blend them 
in due proportion for the service of his brethren ; 
who shall recognize the actual point of her spiritual 
history at which the Church of our day has arrived, 
and discern her true voice among all the artificial 
tones she is made to utter ; who shall know when 
language the most venerable must be rejected, 
because it has ceased to find any response in the 
Christian consciousness of our people ; and when 
language the most attractive must also be rejected, 
because it cannot by any possibility express their 
actual feelings ; and so its very beauty would only 
make it the more dangerous, in that it would 
tempt men to come before the God of Truth with 
superficial emotions and unreal words. 



206 IIYMNOLOGY 



No. II 

ON THE POSSIBILITY AND DIFFICULTIES OF AN 
AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 

MY last paper' was written with the view of bring- 
ing before my readers two things the reason why 
the Church of England has never yet had an 
authorized Hymnal, and the peculiar character of 
the materials for such a purpose at present in our 
hands. I now proceed to an inquiry naturally 
suggested by my first point, namely, Ought we to 
take steps to obtain such an addition to our formu- 
laries ? What are the reasons for and against our 
doing so ? 

The first argument that occurs, I suppose, to 
everybody, is that, as a matter of practical con- 
venience, one authorized Hymnal, for use in all our 
churches, is much to be desired. The multiplica- 
tion of such compilations, in an age when travelling 
has increased to an unprecedented extent, has 
become a very great annoyance. How few of my 
readers, among the many who this summer or 
autumn, let us say, are worshipping as strangers in 
some church at a distance from home, will be able 
to make use of the hymn-books to which they are 
accustomed ? Nowhere is the confusion worse con- 
founded than in our fashionable watering-places. 
One such is in my thoughts now, with its fifteen 
churches, all crowded during the season ; in those 
fifteen churches, a few years ago, twelve different 
collections were in use, and a thirteenth in pre- 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 2O? 

paration ; six or seven of these being peculiar to 
the congregation in which they were used. Such 
diversity as this is a real hindrance to common 
worship ; it seals many a tongue which would 
readily take part in the service of praise; it 
obtrudes upon the stranger the sense of separation 
and distance, where all ought to tell of unity. 
And if it is hard upon the stranger, it is no 
less' hard upon those who are even more to be 
considered, the poor of the congregation. For the 
immense number of hymn-books in existence 
necessarily limits the circulation of each, and 
thereby raises its price. Some books are sold for 
half-a-crown which contain less matter than is 
furnished in others more widely used for threepence. 
And what is yet more provoking, the two collections 
are probably very nearly alike. In hymn-books 
put forth by clergy of similar views, the same 
hymns will, as a matter of course, constitute the 
great bulk of each volume. For most compilers go 
over the beaten track ; their libraries are seldom 
rich in originals ; they are the copyists of copyists, 
and wield in the service of the Church the scissors 
not the pen. Generally speaking, new hymns of 
real value find their way into collections made by a 
considerable body of compilers, covering a large 
area, and procurable therefore at a small cost. A 
hymnal which was used in every congregation of 
our Church would command such a sale that, even 
if bulky, it could be offered at a rate which would 
bring it within the reach of the poorest. 

An authorized Hymnal, moreover, would secure 
us uniformity in the wording of our hymns. The 



208 HYMNOLOGY 

worst result of the great number of collections in 
existence is the unsettled state of the text of many 
of our most valuable hymns. Each private com- 
pilation, though it may not produce any new hymns 
of more than tolerable merit, yet is sure to present 
us with a rich crop of various readings in old ones. 
Any one who is accustomed to the use of different 
books knows the distracting effects of these per- 
petually-recurring changes ; and, I may add, any 
one who is accustomed to one particular form of a 
hymn is not only disturbed, but in some measure 
indignant at each innovation. It seems to be 
precisely the case in which the judicious interposition 
of authority would do good. Let the best form of 
each hymn be carefully selected, its use in this form 
be sanctioned, the authorized volume find accept- 
ance, and in a few years other readings will silently 
disappear, even from unauthorized collections, and 
finally be forgotten. 

Let me, however, so far anticipate the subject of 
my next paper as to say here, once for all, that by 
the best form I do not mean necessarily the original 
form of a hymn. There is much confusion of thought 
upon this point. A hymn-book a book for con- 
gregational use has one only object; and every- 
thing in it ought to be made subservient to that 
one object. It is the material for Common Praise. 
It is not a " treasury " of religious poetry ; it is not 
a collection of the opinions of four or five hundred 
men and women upon religious subjects put into 
metre ; if real poetry is to be found there, the 
reason is only that, cceteris paribus, poetic language 
is better adapted for song than prosaic. Now it is 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 2OO, 

plain that a composition may have in it, as it leaves 
its author's hands, the elements of a valuable hymn ; 
while yet it may need to pass through other hands, 
perhaps through many, before it reaches its best 
shape. The author may have intended it only for 
private use, or only to express his own passing 
thoughts ; his work may be deformed by the effects 
of imperfect education, of a dull ear for rhythm, of 
narrow religious prejudices, of a vulgar or rhetorical 
style ; and yet a wise and devout Hymnologist 
will at once detect in it the true metal, which, 
properly purified, will, it may be, circulate in the 
Church to the end of time. Ought we to reject 
this because it is blemished? ought we to carry 
our veneration of relics so far as to admit it, 
blemishes and all, into a Church Hymnal, because 
we love and revere the memory of the author ? 
Why should Prudentius's Holy Innocents still play 
with their palms and crowns through a dozen 
different versions, because that ecclesiastical Delia 
Cruscan was silly enough to think the notion a 
pretty one ? Why should Dr. Watts's angels clap 
their wings and sweep their strings in our churches ? 
Why should the noble last verse of " Rock of Ages " 
be disfigured by a physiological blunder, pardon- 
able in a Devonshire vicar a hundred years ago, but 
in our ears only ridiculous ? l Why should a well- 
meaning compiler, like the excellent Rector of Bath, 
have taken so much pains to restore to the 545 
hymns in his book all the little bald and rugged 
patches which the kindly hand of time, or the taste 

1 " When mine eye-strings break in death." It is fair to 
say that this is not restored by Mr. Kemble. 

O 



210 HYMNOLOGY 

of more judicious editors, had concealed? 1 Why 
should Mr. Neale, in preparing Vexilla (Hymnal 
Noted, 22) for English congregations if, indeed, 
English congregations must needs sing Vexilla 

1 Mr. Kemble's Hymn-book is so extensively used, and its 
claims upon the attention of the Church are so confidently 
put forward, that I cannot refrain from directing attention 
to another mistake, of an opposite kind, in its construction. 
Here is a most conscientious and painstaking man, who lays 
down for himself a rule, wise in itself, but not without many 
exceptions, only to adhere to it where he ought to have de- 
parted from it, and to depart from it where be ought to have 
adhered to it. He has restored many turns of expression 
which were better forgotten ; but he has exceeded most 
editors in the liberty he has taken of abridgment. The 
fatal scissors have not indeed been employed in the appro- 
priation of the fruit of his neighbour's toils, but they have 
made sad havoc of his own. I will give one example. Pro- 
fessor Carlyle wrote a hymn for the beginning of Divine 
Service, expressing, in devotional language, the part which 
each of the three great Christian graces Faith, Hope, and 
Charity fulfils in public worship. Mr. Kemble professes 
to give us this hymn (442, " Lord, when we bend before Thy 
throne ") in the very words of the author. But, alas, he 
leaves us but the beginning and end of the hymn, and " Love " 
has entirely disappeared from it ! It is true other compilers 
have done the same thing ; but then they make no profession 
of giving us hymns as the authors wrote them. There is, 
indeed, one conceivable explanation of this strange curtail- 
ment. Mr. Kemble proposes we should sing this hymn to 
" St. Matthew's." Now a suburban organist, who thinks that 
a tune is nothing unless it is drawled " to bring out the 
harmony," and garnished with proper preludes and inter- 
ludes, takes a long while to get through a somewhat heavy 
U.C.M. tune in "triple time." Possibly Mr. Kemble thought 
that two verses in this style would exhaust the patience of 
any congregation ; and perhaps he was right. But it was 
cruel to cut his picture to fit his frame. 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 21 i 

first reproduce with " Chinese exactness " a mere 
mistake in a reading of the Psalms, and then ap- 
pend a note to warn us that it is a mistake ? Let 
us, indeed, take all due care of the text of our 
hymns. Let us do for them what Bunsen has done 
for those of his own country, or Daniel and Mone 
for Ancient and Mediaeval Hymns. Let us have 
an English " Thesaurus" to contain, in chronological 
order, all but the greatest writers ; and of these let 
us have good uniform editions. Gladly would I see 
reprinted all those hymn-books of Charles Wesley's, 
of which few persons but Mr. Sedgwick l know even 
the names ; and gladly would I welcome the publi- 
cation by the Wesleyan body of his Psalter, and 
those hundreds of his hymns which, we are told, 
still lie in manuscript. But this will be quarrying, 
not building. When we have got our " Thesaurus," 
we shall still have to construct our National 
Hymnal, and not altogether without the sound of 
axe and hammer. 

I hesitate to say, as some do, that an authorized 
Hymnal would supply a want in our Church 
system ; for the want is already supplied by 
voluntary efforts. There are surely but few 
churches now, and those chiefly village ones, 
where some Hymn-book is not used, either as a 
supplement to, or a substitute for, metrical Psalms. 
Still there are, no doubt, some congregations by 
which hymns would be sung for the first time, 
when they enter under the sanction and patronage 
of our rulers in Church and State. The authoriz- 
ation of a Hymnal would be the coup de grdce to 
1 See p. 276. 



212 HYMNOLOGY 

Tate and Brady. But the real meaning of those 
who look to it for the satisfaction of an acknow- 
ledged want, is that the whole material of the 
devotions of her children would thus be supplied 
by the Church as a Church, speaking through her 
legitimate channels, and none of it left to the 
selection of the individual clergyman. It is fair to 
suppose that a work so important would be under- 
taken, if at all, with such care as to ensure the pro- 
duction of a better hymn-book than any now in 
existence ; that from its very nature it would be 
the most comprehensive of hymn-books ; that its 
merits would secure it ready acceptance ; that thus 
it would become permanent, and take its place at 
last in the affections of our people, as a part of the 
Common Prayer-book to which it was appended. 
Congregations would not then, as now, be disturbed 
by each new pastor I had almost said, each new 
curate bringing with him his favourite Hymnal ; 
the familiar lesson-book of the child would become 
the solace of the aged man ; the tunes sung at the 
old church of his boyhood would be linked with 
words to which the worker, the sufferer, the wan- 
derer in after life might recur with unspeakable 
affection ; and the Hymn-book of the English 
Church might be a bond of union no less powerful 
than her Prayer-book for her scattered children, an 
instrument effectual beyond all other to maintain 
her hold upon her people, and to promote her ex- 
tension. Nevertheless, this argument will, I admit, 
only carry weight with those who wish to abridge 
rather than extend, the discretion now allowed to 
each clergyman in the conduct of Divine Service. 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 21$ 

Yet even those who demand for him the utmost 
possible liberty may be reminded that it is the 
voice of the congregation, not of its pastor, which 
would be controlled by prescribed forms of praise ; 
that the choice denied to him would be merely the 
choice, made once for all, of a book, not the con- 
tinual selecting of portions ; and that it would be 
practicable, and even, I hope to show, desirable, 
where circumstances might seem to require it, con- 
siderably ro relax even this slight restriction. 

But great as would be these and the like advan- 
tages arising from the adoption of an authorized 
Hymnal, the difficulties in the way of such an 
undertaking appear to me truly formidable ; and it 
is the consideration of these difficulties which has 
been my chief inducement to the discussion of the 
subject in these pages. It is not enough to specu- 
late on the beauty and pleasantness of a National 
Hymn-book as excellent as our Prayer-book, as 
much venerated and beloved, combining the dignity 
of the Ancient, the holy associations of the German, 
the popularity of the Methodist Hymnody ; we 
must ask ourselves calmly whether it is possible for 
us to get this, or anything like this ? whether we 
can get anything at all without great danger ? and 
whether, when we have what we have asked for, 
we shall like it, and welcome it, as much as we 
fancy ? 

The first question that arises is as to the body 
from which an authorized Hymnal ought to proceed. 
To place a Hymnal on exactly the same footing 
as our Prayer-book, it ought, of course, after having 
been prepared, to receive the approval of the Con- 



214 IIYMNOLOGY 

vocations of both Provinces, of both Houses of 
Parliament, and of the Crown. A special Act would 
be required, repealing so much of the Act of Uni- 
formity as bears upon the subject. Further, if the 
Hymnal is to be literally of equal authority with the 
Prayer-book, its use must be compulsory, under 
penalties similar to those which enforce the use of 
the Prayer-book ; and it must be specified in the 
declaration of unfeigned assent and consent required 
of every incumbent at institution. No one, I 
suppose, dreams that all this is either possible or 
desirable. That Parliament should sanction the 
imposition of new formularies of any sort upon the 
Church is highly improbable ; that it should im- 
pose upon it a vast body of hymns gathered from 
all sources, to be forthwith adopted to the exclusion 
of many hundreds of rival collections, in which 
great numbers of persons have considerable pecuni- 
ary interest, and to the use of one or other of which 
thousands of Church people of all ranks are warmly 
attached, is simply incredible. Were it possible to 
pass such an Act, the agitation of the whole Church 
would ensure its speedy repeal. All that we can 
ask, then, in the way of authorization, must be 
simply an Order in Council, permitting the use of 
one particular collection, in the same way as that 
which allowed Tate and Brady's Psalter ; or at the 
utmost, giving the sort of authority for its use which 
sanctions the use of the Accession Service. This 
might be done upon an address to the Crown from 
Parliament, which, though not probable, it is at least 
possible might be voted, if it were known before- 
hand that the measure would be generally acceptable 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 21 5 

to the Church. But this could only be if the 
Hymnal had been prepared by a body of compilers 
which commanded general confidence ; if it had 
been sufficiently long before the Church to invite 
and profit by free criticism ; and if it had been to 
some extent tested by actual experience. An 
Order in Council allowing such a book would 
doubtless be, to a considerable extent, at once 
acted upon. It is probable that the authorized 
Hymnal would be adopted by the Cathedrals, by 
the Universities, by many Colleges and schools, by 
the Royal Chapels, and by a large number of the 
churches of our towns and cities. Vested interests 
would not be hastily and alarmingly interfered 
with. If the Hymnal were really good, it would 
gradually make its way. But how much depends 
upon its compilers ! To whom shall we look ? 

The subject has been mooted in Convocation 
once or twice ; an address from the Lower House 
to the Upper has been suggested, praying the 
appointment of a Committee to compile a Hymnal. 
But of whom is such a Committee to consist ? Not 
surely exclusively of the members of one or both 
Houses of the Convocation of the Province of 
Canterbury. Such a work is too great to be under- 
taken by any body, however venerable, so limited 
in numbers, representing but one province of the 
United Church, and composed of members not 
necessarily very conversant with this subject, and 
already largely occupied with other business. It 
is to be questioned whether the result of the labours 
of a Committee of Convocation would be likely to 
be a better Hymnal than some which the Church 



2l6 HYMNOLOGY 

already possesses. It must be obvious indeed, that 
such a task as the preparation of an Authorized 
Church Hymnal ought to be entrusted, as was the 
preparation of the Authorized Version of the 
Bible, to a body of men specially chosen for the 
task from the whole Church upon the one ground 
of fitness for this peculiar duty ; and, moreover, 
left at liberty to avail themselves of the services of 
any persons, of any nation, and in any religious 
communion, whom they may think competent to 
render them assistance. It is only thus that there 
can be any hope of collecting all the materials 
available for the purpose, for procuring the best 
judgments upon their selection and arrangements, 
and of producing a result which shall disarm 
hostility, overcome prejudices, and enlist the hearty 
sympathies of the Church at large. That the book, 
when prepared, ought to be admitted to the Con- 
vocation of each Province for approval, before being 
allowed by the Queen in Council, I do not question. 
But I confess it appears to me that our efforts ought 
in the first place to be directed to the obtaining a 
Royal Commission of clergy and laity for the 
purpose of preparing it ; and that the wisest course 
would be for Convocation to petition the Crown to 
that effect. 

But suppose these preliminaries adjusted ; sup- 
pose a Commission appointed, so largely constituted 
as to represent fairly every school of religious 
thought within the Church, and so judiciously as 
to command general confidence in their piety, 
learning, moderation, and good taste ; still the 
difficulties would be but beginning. The task of 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 2 1/ 

the Commissioners is to provide for the Church a 
Hymnal which shall obtain from hundreds of con- 
gregations, each using its own favourite collection, 
at least the sort of suffrage which the Athenian 
general of old is said to have gained from his 
colleagues. Each hymnist must at any rate acknow- 
ledge that the new book is only second to his own 
in merit. And those who bear in mind how long 
the Prayer-book was unpopular how long the 
Genevan Bible maintained its footing against 
King James's in general esteem, will not be very 
confident as to the likelihood of even this amount 
of success. Such persons will think of the many 
popular hymns which must be called to the bar of 
the Commission, tried, and condemned ; of the 
still more numerous ones, which will be nearly up 
to the mark of approval, and yet, perhaps, on a 
final revision be rejected, from the dire necessity of 
compression ; of the strange new faces that will 
surely take the place of familiar old ones, ancient 
and mediaeval hymns finding their way for the first 
time into ears that were accustomed but to Watts, 
Newton, and Wesley, or vice versa ; of the certainty 
that the very comprehensiveness of the new book 
will make it disagreeable to those who are familiar 
only with one type of hymn ; its very Catholicity 
be mistaken by too many for a cold and unspiritual 
neutrality. It must, indeed, be a sanguine temper 
that has not many misgivings as to the success of 
an undertaking which cannot fail to provoke 
abundant criticism, which must of very necessity 
wound many deeply-cherished prejudices, break in 
upon many hallowed associations, and claim to 



2l8 HYMNOLOGY 

disturb, even though with the view of reforming, 
the devotional language of thousands. 1 

But an authorized Hymnal would have to make 
its way, not only against a strong current of pre- 
possession, but one still stronger of pecuniary in- 
terest. The manufacture and sale of hymn-books 
is now a department of British industry with which 
a prudent Minister may well deem it unadvisable 
for a Royal Commission to interfere. In any case, 
the law of copyright, the dread of which has chilled 
the ardour of so many a hymnologist, who fondly 
hoped he could gather into one collection every 
good and popular hymn of the day, will confront 
in all its terrors the compilers of a hymnal which 
aspired to supersede all others. What are they to 
do ? Are they to help themselves freely, and then 
ask for an Act of Indemnity ? Are they to try the 
question of copyright in the Law Courts? Are 
they to go round to each publisher in turn, solicit- 
ing, in the name of the Church of England, per- 
mission to make use of his property, in the hope of 
being able to combine the contributions thus begged 
from door to door in a volume, which, if successful, 
is to make all that property worthless ? Will 

1 I have not questioned the probability of the Commis- 
sioners being able to agree among themselves. Yet there is 
no species of composition with regard to which the judgment 
of a devout man is more likely to be warped by early associ- 
ations and prejudices than a hymn. Who shall ensure our 
compilers against the catastrophe which is said to have 
befallen the clergy of one of our university towns, who resolved 
some years ago to unite in the compilation of a hymnal for use 
in all its churches, but differed over one single hymn, quar- 
relled, and separated, re infcctd ? 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 219 

Parliament give them power to purchase all the 
copyrights they require ? Or must they be content 
to construct their hymnal out of materials which are 
accessible to every one ; in other words, to forego 
almost all the rich accumulations of the last thirty 
years ; to pass over nearly every good translation 
from ancient or from German sources, and, with 
such exceptions as the liberality of authors may 
furnish, the whole hymnody of the Church of our 
own day? What prospect would so meagre a 
selection have of fulfilling the requisite conditions 
of success ? And if it be replied that the State can 
surely do what private individuals or associations 
have done with considerable success, let the reader 
remember that the permission hitherto very gener- 
ously accorded to compilers whose competition was 
scarcely dangerous, is hardly likely to be extended 
to a book which, under the patronage of the Crown, 
is to come before the public with such high claims 
to universal adoption. 1 

But there is another difficulty to be encountered. 
The advantages of uniformity in our books of Prayer 
and Praise are many and obvious, but uniformity 
has its disadvantages too. Admirably as our 
offices of prayer are suited to the habitual devotions 
of the " faithful," they are deficient, we all know, in 
the power of adaptability to irregular, occasional 
services, to unforeseen exigencies, to congregations 

1 No one can complain of publishers for protecting their 
own property, though the idea of property in a hymn designed 
for the public glorifying of God would surely have been 
thought an unseemly one in any days but those of pro- 
prietary chapels. 



220 HYMNOLOGY 

of a type differing from the ordinary one. Hitherto 
this deficiency has been the less felt, because the 
free use of hymns has in a great measure supplied 
the requisite elasticity ; and of course no one would 
now think of making a Church Hymnal as rigid in 
its structure as the Prayer-book, or as the Hymn- 
aries of the Ancient Church. Yet, considering how 
varied is the character of our Church's work, it 
seems hard to conceive of one sole book which 
shall be fit for all times and places of her 
worship. 

The Wesleyans have indeed their one book ; but 
then their congregations are chiefly of one class, 
accustomed to one very definite type of worship 
and ministry. But can we indeed produce a 
Hymnal suited alike to the Court, the Cathedral, 
the University, and the village Church ; to Belgravia 
and Bethnal Green ; to the mission vessel in the 
Channel, the Staffordshire pitmen's open-air services, 
the Londoner and the rustic ; to Yorkshire, Sussex, 
Lancashire, Cornwall, Wales ; nay, if we hope to 
see it co-extensive with our Prayer-book, we must 
add, to Ireland and the Colonies ? The Ancient 
Church, with all its love of uniformity, never 
ventured upon such a scheme. It is only modern 
Ultramontanism that seeks to impose upon all con- 
gregations and all lands the one inflexible Roman 
Breviary. 

Of old, each diocese, even each great religious 
house, had its own collection of hymns, and in 
France, at least, much liberty in this respect is still 
allowed ; and though it suits our English notions 
of propriety that " all the realm shall have but one 



DIFFICULTIES OF AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 221 

Use," yet the experience of three centuries has 
taught us, I think, that this eminently Tudor rule 
had better not be pressed too far. Some amount 
of diversity then must be tolerated in our Hymnals, 
not merely for the present, until uniformity can 
be attained, but permanently. 

There are various ways in which this might be 
provided for. The best would probably be the 
permitting each Bishop, if he shall think fit, to 
allow the use, in his own diocese, of a local supple- 
ment to the National Hymnal, containing such 
additions to its contents as he and his clergy may 
judge suited to their circumstances. This would be 
better than a distinct book for each diocese or 
neighbourhood. A few exceptional cases, such as 
prisons, or penitentiaries, or public schools, or 
sailors' churches, might be left to provide their own 
hymnals ; and possibly a small book for " mission " 
and other irregular services might be desirable. 
This would be better than encumbering the general 
collection with hymns only useful in a few cases, or 
peculiar to certain localities. 

Lastly, there is one more difficulty, the thought of 
which has deterred many among us from desiring 
an authorized Hymnal ; the difficulty of providing 
for the future development of our Hymnody. Noble 
as it is, it is yet far from complete, and is in full 
growth at this day ; fostered mainly by its free and 
unrestricted use in all our churches. So long as the 
present state of things continues, and the Church 
demands fresh hymns, fresh hymns will be produced; 
most of them, no doubt, feeble and ephemeral, but 
here and there one of great and permanent value. 



222 HYMNOLOGY 

But if an authorized Hymnal is to settle finally and 
unalterably the Hymnody of our Church, the fount 
of inspiration will be choked up ; and our third 
school of hymnists, the only one which belongs 
specifically to the English Church as such, will come 
to an untimely end. And there are yet many 
deficiencies to be supplied. We have no hymn of 
first-rate excellence for the New Year, for a Baptism, 
or (saving the prose version of Notker's, incorpor- 
ated in our Burial Office, " In the midst of life ") 
for a Funeral. 1 Can we then yet venture to gather 
our stores together, and virtually forbid, or at least 
discountenance, any subsequent addition to them ? 
May we not fear lest, in a generation or two, our 
National Hymnal appear almost as inadequate to 
the spiritual life of our people as that of the 
American Church ; that melancholy compilation 
of dull respectability, which now, neither old nor 
new, resembles nothing so much as the compo- 
Gothic of a suburban chapel-of-ease of five-and- 
thirty years ago ? Some provision then must be 
made for a periodical recasting, for the admission 
from time to time of new matter, if our Church's 
service of song is truly to be the utterance of her 
inner life, the witness and the helper of her growth. 
Our uniformity must be organized development, 
not lifeless inflexibility. Like the inspired Hymnal 
of the Old Testament Church, ever growing from 

1 Even Hymns Ancient and Modern can find no fitter 
vehicle for the faith and resignation of mourners than the 
terrible " Dies Irae " ; certainly one of the greatest of hymns, 
but, pathetic as it is, ill suited to the calm and unexciting 
language of our English Burial Service. 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 223 

the Tabernacle to the Second Temple, speaking to 
successive generations of Egypt, of Horeb, of Sion, 
of Babylon, receiving the voice of Psalmist and 
Prophet from Moses to Ezra ; even so must our 
Church be free to sing from age to age the eternal 
Song of Moses and the Lamb ; even so must our 
Hymnal carry on in its pages the unfolding history 
of God's dealings with us ; and be to our children's 
children, " far on in summers which we shall not 
see," the heir-loom of a fruitful Past. 



No. Ill 

ON THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH A HYMN-BOOK 
SHOULD BE CONSTRUCTED 

THE great task before every one who desires 
to see the Church of England furnished with a 
National Hymnal worthy of her, is to do all in 
his power to prepare the minds of his fellow- 
Churchmen for its reception. For it is doubtful 
whether even yet our people are ripe for it ; 
whether the Church would really welcome a 
Hymnal of the very best character. This is a 
doubt which must often suggest itself to the 
thoughtful hymnologist when he sees how vague 
are the notions of Churchmen in general as to 
what constitutes a hymn, and wherein its merits 
consist. Few people take pains to judge of a 
hymn. Lovers of Church music too often treat it 



224 HYMNOLOGY 

as the mere libretto of a tune ; if it has an easy 
refrain, or a lilting rhythm, if it "goes well to 
music," they are satisfied. If I were to send my 
copy of Hymns Ancient and Modern round to all 
the parsonages within the district embraced by our 
Association, with a request that my friends would 
mark for me their favourite hymns, I know very 
well where the stars and crosses would cluster 
thickest; not round the best, but round those 
which Mr. Monk and Mr. Dykes and Mr. Jenner 
have adorned with new and pretty melodies. I 
myself think there is no better hymn-book in print 
at present than this ; but yet I can see with sorrow 
that its great popularity (apart from that of its 
music) depends upon its weakest rather than its 
strongest features. Let my readers put me to the 
test ; let them take a copy of the book without the 
music, and try to dissociate words from tunes ; 
then let them fairly compare some of the unnoticed 
and unpraised hymns such ancient ones as 45, 
" Creator of the starry height " ; or 95, " O Christ, 
Who art the Light and Day"; or 173, "O Love, how 
deep ! how broad ! how high ! "; or 273, " O Lord, 
how joyful 'tis to see "; or 43 1, " Disposer Supreme "; 
or such modern ones as those of Heber (241), Keble 
(143), or Anstice (276) not the best, or the best 
known, of their respective authors ; with a corre- 
sponding number of the universally popular verses 
in the volume, with the sensuousness, the effemin- 
acy, or the empty jingle of such hymns as " Oh, 
come and mourn with me awhile" (114), "Jesu, 
meek and lowly "(188), or "Nearer, my God, to 
Thee " (277). And even when hymns are estimated 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 225 

independently of tunes, too often the ear catches 
at some pretty turn of words, or some favourite 
phrase, without regard to its true value, or its fit- 
ness for the service of the sanctuary. In short, the 
majority of readers, learners, buyers, and singers 
of sacred lyrics do not know what a hymn is, or 
when it is really good, still less whether, supposing 
it good, it is suitable for congregational use. I 
shall therefore in this paper endeavour to lay down 
a few principles of criticism, and in the next try to 
teach my readers to apply them. 

What then is a hymn ? Now I will not supply 
any answer of my own to this question ; I will go 
back to the age in which the metrical hymnody, of 
the Western Churches at least, began. I will take 
my definition of a hymn from one of the greatest 
theologians, the friend and disciple of the great- 
est of Christian hymnists one, therefore, whose 
judgment on such a matter few will call in question. 
St. Augustine, commenting on the words, "The 
hymns (Authorized Version, ' prayers ') of David 
the son of Jesse are ended," asks, as his manner is, 
what a hymn means, and answers, " Hymns are 
'the praises of God with song'; hymns are songs 
containing the praise of God. If there be praise, 
and it be not God's praise, it is not a hymn. If 
there be praise, and that God's praise, and it be 
not sung, it is not a hymn. To constitute a hymn, 
then, it is necessary that there be these three things 
praise, the praise of God, and song'' 1 

Certainly this definition is sufficiently clear and 
precise ; but is it too narrow ? Has not the 

1 Aug., Enarr. in Ps. Ixxii. See also p. 161. 

P 



226 IIYMNOLOGY 

practice of the whole Church, as well as in many 
cases the authority of particular Churches, sanc- 
tioned the use in public worship of very many 
compositions which fulfil none of Augustine's re- 
quirements but the last ? And in so doing, has 
not the Church the Divine precedent of the Psalter 
to fall back upon ? Now, first, as to this precedent, 
let it be observed that the Book of Psalms is much 
more than a hymnal. It is a manual of private as 
well as public devotion ; it is a prophetical book ; 
it is an inspired record of the spiritual experiences 
of saints under the Old Covenant ; it embraces 
compositions corresponding (so far as the utter- 
ances of the Divine Word can correspond with the 
merely human) with the historical ballads or 
patriotic songs of other nations. Therefore in 
structure it is not to be compared with any collec- 
tion of hymns formed expressly for congregational 
use. There is absolutely no evidence whatever 
that the whole Psalter, as we have it, was so used 
by the Jewish Church. Had this been understood 
at the time of the Reformation, the absurdity of 
attempting to versify it from end to end for the 
congregation would have been seen, and the 
Church would not have groaned for three centuries 
beneath the incubus of successive Metrical Versions. 
But it is to be observed, that wherever we have 
distinct evidence, or even reasonable probability 
of the use of any Psalm in the Temple services 
there we shall find Augustine's three essentials of 
a hymn. Such are the Dedication Psalms of the 
Tabernacle of David (xcvi., cv., cvi.), that of his 
house (xxx.), those (probably) of the Second 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 22? 

Temple (cxliv., cxlv., cxlvi.), 1 the Processional 
Hymn of the Ark (Ixviii.), the Paschal Hallel 
(cxiii. cxviii.), a portion of which was probably 
the " hymn " of the Upper Chamber, and others 
which might be named. And further, even if the 
devotional public use of all the Psalms, penitential 
as well as laudatory, by the Jewish Church, could 
be proved, it must be remembered that the Psalter 
was its Prayer-book as well as its Hymnal, and 
was not used, as ours, to supply merely the jubilant 
half of public worship. I have already spoken of 
the use of chanted psalms in our service, a practice 
concerning which we may take many hints from 
ancient service-books. But I am far from denying 
the great value of metrical paraphrases of the 
Psalms, judiciously selected, and properly adapted 
to the needs of the Christian Church. Who would 
willingly give up "All people that on earth do 
dwell " ? Who does not love to recall some of the 
happier even of Tate and Brady's verses ? of which 
I rejoice to see a few interspersed among Hymns 
Ancient and Modern ; not, of course, classed separ- 
ately, as if they were something else than hymns 
a mistake into which many of our compilers still 
fall. Indeed, some of our best hymns are adapt- 
ations from the Psalter. Several of Watts's so- 
called " Psalms " are better than any in his other 
volume ; Lyte's Spirit of tJie Psalms has enriched 
the Church with a few hymns of great beauty, and 

1 It is but fair to say, that Hengstenberg includes Pss. 
cxxxvii. to cxlvi. in the cycle of " Dedication Psalms," some 
of them being old and some new. Still, though not all 
Psalms of praise, these are all addressed to God. 



228 HYMNOLOGY 

there are many isolated instances which might be 
named. So in Germany, the finest of some of 
Luther's Spiritual Songs are free adaptations from 
the Psalter, among them the noblest of all, " Ein 
feste Burg," a version of Ps. xlvi. Such a use of 
the Divine pattern of devotion is surely more real, 
more intelligent, and therefore more truly reverent, 
than any feeble attempt to turn its mere words 
into metre, and to pour into old bottles the new 
wine of Christian thanksgiving. 

But yet undoubtedly the Christian Church in all 
times and nations has sung hymns which are not 
strictly acts of praise to God. It is obviously 
impossible and undesirable to keep closely to the 
letter of Augustine's definition. The Church has 
her penitential days and seasons, her times of trial 
and chastening, her longings for her absent Lord ; 
and she has a mother's true sympathy with all the 
varied sorrows and wants of her children. Her 
very music, then, cannot be all alike; her Hymnody 
must find a place for the low tones of the fast-day 
and the house of mourning, no less than for the 
glad songs of the " night wherein an holy solemnity 
is kept." A Hymnal which was all praise would 
never be human enough to find a place in the 
hearts of the worshippers. And indeed there is 
a sense in which the lowliest cry of a broken heart 
is praise, for God is glorified by it. 

Every feeling, then, which enters into any act of 
true worship, may fitly find expression in a hymn. 
But here we must fix our limit. Hymns may 
express adoration, thanksgiving, commemoration 
of God's mercies; they may be prayers, penitential, 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 229 

supplicatory, intercessory; they may be devout 
aspirations after God ; but in any case they must 
be forms of worship. It is not enough that they 
suggest devotion, they must be capable of expressing 
it. The observance of this rule would clear the 
ground at once of much irrelevant matter with 
which the Hymn-books of every Church and sect 
are at present encumbered. The whole multitude 
of didactic and hortatory verses, the addresses to 
sinners and saints, the paraphrases of Scripture 
prophecies, promises, and warnings, the descriptions 
of heaven and hell, the elaborate elucidations of the 
anatomy and pathology of the soul; all these, what- 
ever be their value in the chamber, the study, or 
the pulpit, ought utterly and for ever to be banished 
from the choir. But simple as this principle is, that 
a hymn is a form of worshipping God, it is violated 
afresh in almost every Hymnal that is published. 
Hymns addressed to saints departed, for instance, 
though of course abundant in the unreformed times 
and Churches, should have no place among our- 
selves. Yet these have been restored to some 
collections (Hymnal Noted, 15, 16; Hymns Ancient 
and Modern, 6$, 432). * This, however, if mis- 

1 The Reformation, effecting as it did a complete revolu- 
tion in the teaching of the Churches which accepted it, with 
regard to the saints, has of course closed to us all, or nearly 
all, the sources from which we might have been inclined to 
draw our Saints'-day hymns. But, in truth, few mediaeval 
hymns to the Saints have much merit as compositions to 
counterbalance that which is wrong or defective in their 
theology. The best appear to me to be two Gallican ones, 
translated by Mr. Isaac Williams (Hymns Ancient and 
Modern, 414 and 431 the latter a difficult but very noble 



230 IIYMNOLOGY 

directed devotion, is still devotion, not mere pro- 
fane rhetoric. But what are we to say of Bishop 
Heber offering to . the Church as an Epiphany 
hymn an imaginary address of the Magi to the 
Star of Bethlehem ? What of the compilers of the 
Hymnal Noted, proposing to us to address our- 
selves to the devil (53), or to the wood and iron of 
the Cross (24)? Babies are the objects of a good 
deal of domestic idolatry, but why should a vener- 
able Church Society invite a whole congregation 
to sing to a baby in church (S. P. C. K. Hymn-book, 
new ed., 227) ? To match this baptismal " hymn," 
Dr. Kennedy has a wedding "hymn" to a bride- 
groom (Hymnologia Christiana], successively as 
"lover" and "husband," and Mr. Blew a funeral 

hymn), the " Exultet orbis gaudiis" (Church Hymnal, 176), 
and the famous hymn attributed to St. Ambrose, for Apostles' 
days, "Sterna Christ! munera" (Hymns Ancient and Modern^ 
430). So that our Saints'-day hymns have yet to be written. 
Canon (Bishop) Wordsworth has some valuable remarks 
upon this subject in the Preface to his Holy Year, pp. xviii, 
xix, but his efforts to supply the deficiency on which he 
comments do not seem to me very successful. We have, 
however, some few English Saints'-day hymns of great 
excellence. Heber's two on St. Peter and St. John, and 
Mr. Keble's on St. John (written for the Salisbury Hymnal], 
it seems almost impertinent to praise. They exactly fulfil 
the idea which these Festivals in our Church are intended to 
express commemorating the Saint to the glory of his Lord. 
Some of Bishop Mant's are valuable. The hymn for St. 
Matthew's day (I suppose by Mr. Anstice) in the Child's 
Christian Year, and one by Mr. Thrupp, on the Brethren of 
our Lord, St. Simon and St. Jude (assuming the truth of his 
theory), are both very beautiful, but rather too elaborate and 
meditative for Festival hymns. 






PRINCIPLES OF IIYMN-P.OOK CONSTRUCTION 231 

"hymn" to the earth. The American Church 
sings Pope's Ode to a departing soul (191), and 
one of her funeral hymns is a remonstrance with 
a " joyous youth " ( 1 26). Mr. Kemble prints stanzas 
to "angels," " mortals," " sinners," and (in one case) 
missionaries ; to a " believer," an " afflicted saint," 
and to the Bible. Even Canon (Bishop) Words- 
worth, reverent and careful as he is, falls into the 
mistake of apostrophizing Sunday, instead of prais- 
ing the Lord of the Sabbath (Holy Year, i), and (if 
I read him aright) exhorts St. Bartholomew not to 
" repine," because none on earth can tell the story 
of his life (100). 

But is every hymn to be condemned which is 
not directly addressed to God ? This would 
obviously be too narrow a rule. The spirit rather 
than the form of the hymn is the test of its devo- 
tional character. Hymns inviting to the praise of 
God, on the model of Psalms xcv. and c., form a 
large class, containing many eminently fitted for 
public worship. Another important class com- 
prises hymns which " rehearse the righteous acts of 
the Lord," which celebrate the Incarnation, the 
Epiphany, Passion, Resurrection, or Ascension. 
Such are most of our good hymns for the Christian 
seasons. These two elements are magnificently 
combined in the " Adeste Fideles," the noblest of 
Christmas hymns, which, now that we are familiar 
with it in its English dress, as we have long been 
with John Reading's beautiful tune for it, bids fair 
to become the most popular also. To this class 
belong hymns which are confessions of faith. Such 
was formerly what is now called the " Creed of St. 



232 HYMNOLOGY 

Athanasius." In fact, all our creeds are hymns, to 
be " sung or said." Canon (Bishop) Wordsworth 
insists strongly on the value of hymns as vehicles 
for doctrinal teaching. "A Church," he says, 
"which foregoes the use of hymns in her office 
of teaching, neglects one of the most efficacious 
instruments for correcting error, and for dissemin- 
ating truth, as well as for ministering comfort and 
edification, especially to the poor." This is most 
true ; but it is important to notice that the doc- 
trinal element must always be kept in due subor- 
dination to be devotional ; the type of the hymn 
must be a creed, not an article of religion ; a con- 
fession before God, not a definition to men. Hence 
those doctrinal hymns are always the best which, 
if not addressed to God, pass, ere they close, into a 
direct utterance of prayer or praise. 

I will illustrate my meaning by an example. 
Let the reader compare the two following hymns. 
They are both doctrinal; the subject of both is 
Faith ; the views expressed in both as to the source 
and work of faith are identical. The difference is 
in the mode of treatment. 

" Mistaken souls ! that dream of heaven, 

And make their empty boast 

Of inward joys, and sins forgiven, 

While they are slaves to lust ! 

Vain are our fancies, airy flights, 

If faith be cold and dead ; 
None but a living power unites 

To Christ, the living Head. 

Tis faith that changes all the heart, 
Tis faith that works by love ; 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 233 

That bids all sinful joys depart, 
And lifts the thoughts above. 

'Tis faith that conquers earth and hell 

By a celestial power ; 
This is the grace that shall prevail 

In the decisive hour." 

This is from Dr. Watts (i. 140). There are three 
more verses, which, as Watts himself bracketed 
them, I omit. They do not alter the character of 
the hymn. Compare it with the following : 

" O God of our salvation, Lord, 

Of wondrous power and love, 
May faith, salvation's holy seed, 
Be sent us from above ! 

'Tis faith that gives us strength to fight, 

That we our foes may quell ; 
And with the shield of faith we quench 

The fiery darts of hell. 

By faith we make our prayers to Thee 

In that most holy Name, 
On which, for mercy and for peace, 

Hope rests her steadfast claim. 

For that Name's sake assist us, Lord, 

To run our heavenward race ; 
And oh ! may no unholy life 

Our holy faith disgrace. 

To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, 

Be praise and glory given ; 
Who pour into the hearts of men 

True light and heat from heaven." 

This is the Hymn for Vespers on Thursdays 
from the Parisian Breviary ', translated by Mr. 



234 HVMNOLOGY 

Chandler. I do not know the date or the author, 1 
but most of these Gallican hymns are of a com- 
paratively late period ; some of them written by 
men, such as Coffin and Le Tourneaux, who were 
actually contemporary with Watts, although the 
hymns are all classed together by Chandler as " of 
the Primitive Church." This is not a particularly 
good specimen of Mr. Chandler's volume ; I chose 
it simply because of its subject. Watts's first verse 
is in very bad taste, but on the whole his hymn is 
homely, lucid, nervous English ; it grasps at a 
great truth, and states it clearly. But Watts 
simply turns this truth over in his mind, and 
reflects upon it. He has sat down to make a 
judicious protest against two opposite errors, and 
he does it. But it is not a hymn ; there is not a 
particle of devotion in it. To use it in church 
would be like reading a tract in place of the 
Liturgy. It is the prevalence of compositions like 
this which gives to so many hymn-books of thirty 
years ago that air of cold and wearisome wordiness 
which pervades them, as contrasted with more 
recent collections. The Gallican, on the other 
hand, is less clear about faith than one could wish, 
but he has read his Psalter and his Augustine. 
What he knows he feels. He does not think about 
convincing men, but about glorifying God. He 
cannot meditate upon faith without praying for it. 
He promotes devotion while he teaches doctrine. 
He gives us a true hymn, not very lucid or vigorous, 
but simple and real. 

Another class of hymns, embracing many of the 
1 Charles Coffin, b. 1676, d. 1749. -H. H. 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 235 

most popular, consists of meditations upon the 
glories of heaven, and aspirations after them. As 
to the admissibility of such hymns into church, I 
am far more doubtful than most hymnologists 
seem inclined to be. They have, indeed, abundant 
precedents in their favour, but those chiefly of a 
bad period ; they are liable to be tainted by some 
of the worst vices of modern hymns softness and 
sentimentalism ; they afford a dangerous opening 
to unreality and sensuousness. Still there are 
some genuine hymns of this class, of undeniable 
beauty and power, the best being the least detailed, 
such as the exquisite " O quanta qualia " (Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, 235), or the well-known 
" Jerusalem, my happy home." But "Jerusalem " 
hymns might well have a paper to themselves. 1 

Once more, from among the immense multitude 
of modern hymns which deal with the relations of 
the individual soul to God, some, as I intimated in 
my first paper, must keep the place they have won 
for themselves in our public worship. Not merely 
are they necessary 'in order to make a hymnal 

1 The beautiful rhythm of Bernard of Morlaix, with the 
latter part of which Mr. (Dr.) Neale has made us all familiar, 
has doubtless done much of late years to bring the 
"Jerusalem" hymn once more into fashion, so thoroughly do 
its plaintiveness, its softness, and its lusciousness, harmonize 
with the habits of our day, and the peculiarities of modern 
thought. But in its very popularity lies its danger. It is as 
wrong to build castles with the imagery of the Apocalypse as 
to denounce opponents in the language of the prophets. 
Both the one and the other have been done by many true 
saints and heroes ; both are mischievous habits, nevertheless. 
Yet we recoil from the fanatical, while we tolerate the senti- 
mental use of Holy Scripture. 



236 HYMNOLOGY 

acceptable to all, but they represent a condition of 
thought which has become, under the influence of 
Protestant theology, more or less common to all 
worshippers who have any sort of true religious 
enlightenment. To admit them into a national 
hymnal now is therefore simply obedience to the 
law, that forms of common worship must express 
such thoughts and feelings as are, or ought to be, 
common to all worshippers. This law I take to be 
the true guide in the compilation of a national 
hymnal, and the true test of what ought to be 
admitted into it. Such a rule is wanted. No one 
doubts that Heber's " Holy, holy, holy," is emi- 
nently congregational ; no one now, I suppose, 
would include Cowper's "Far from the world, O 
Lord, I flee," in a congregational collection. 
Somewhere between these two extremes lies the 
boundary line of a Church Hymnal. It may never 
be possible to draw that line very clearly ; because 
a hymn of first-rate excellence, though belonging 
to a class not generally adapted to public worship, 
must not be lightly rejected, and will sometimes 
compel us, as it were, to admit it. Such a hymn as 
Charles Wesley's "Jesu, lover of my soul," seems 
to me absolutely to stand upon the line. It is a 
hymn for times of sorrow of purely inward and 
personal sorrow, being originally entitled " In 
Temptation." It was not included by the Wesleys 
in their general collection, but placed there by the 
Conference, after the author's death, among hymns 
for "mourners convinced of sin." I should think 
that all who have really felt its wonderful power 
and reality would wish to see it in a Church 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 237 

Hymnal ; yet most clergymen, I suppose, would 
hesitate before selecting it as the vehicle of the 
ordinary worship of a mixed congregation. There 
is less difficulty about "Rock of Ages," because, 
though a strictly personal hymn, it expresses 
the very fundamental principles of Christian life, 
and is, as its author entitled it, " A Prayer, Living 
and Dying." A third famous hymn, Cowper's 
" Oh, for a closer walk with God ! " must, T think, 
be rejected altogether from a public hymnal : true 
and beautiful as it is, it belongs not merely to a 
secret, but to an exceptional condition of heart ; it 
is plainly impossible that it could be real for a 
whole congregation at once, even on the hypothesis 
that the whole congregation were living and faith- 
ful Christians. Only a few at any one time would 
be in the spiritual state indicated in the hymn, and 
therefore, while to these few its value would be 
great, to the majority it would be unmeaning, and 
thus unfit to offer to God. If this seem to any 
reader hard measure to deal out to compositions 
so widely and so justly revered, let me ask him to 
reflect whether the truest use of such a hymn as 
this of Cowper's is not in private devotion, and to 
remember that to withdraw such hymns from 
public worship is by no means to slight them, but 
only to appropriate them to their right purpose, 
and to provide for their fulfilling it in the best way. 
So much for the subjects which should occupy a 
Church Hymnal. But there are other considera- 
tions still which must determine the acceptance or 
rejection of hymns. I will not speak of doctrine; 
it is of course to be assumed that the Hymnal of 



238 HYMNOLOGY 

the Church must harmonize with her other formu- 
laries ; and if the spirit of each hymn be truly 
devotional, the traces of the school of thought from 
which it has been derived, though conspicuous, will 
not be offensively prominent. When we are really 
turning to God, we are all looking one way. Such 
a volume as Sir Roundell Palmer's Book of Praise 
shows us, as he well points out, the essential unity 
which underlies all truly spiritual utterances of 
devotion, and it shows us too that hymns of all 
ages and countries may be blended in one volume 
without being watered down by timid variations 
into colourless and insipid neutrality. Much, how- 
ever, depends upon the moral and intellectual 
character, so to speak, of hymns. Supposing many 
alike admissible, which are we to prefer? Let me 
point out a few particulars in which the excellence 
of a hymn may be said to consist. 

I. A hymn must be sincere. Professing to be a 
form of worship, it must be what it professes 
throughout. Covert controversial allusions (too 
common in the eighteenth-century hymns), or any 
other evidences of spiritual pride or vanity, are in- 
tolerable. So are theatrical displays of emotion, 
such as disgrace many hymns, both Roman and 
Protestant, on our Lord's sufferings. The thoughts 
with which a devout and intelligent believer in our 
own day dwells upon the Passion can never clothe 
themselves in the sensuous language of Faber and 
Caswall; they "lie too deep for tears." In our 
Prayer-book there are no overstrained expressions 
either of sorrow or of joy ; no invitations to one 
another to weep, or prayers for " a fount of tears ": 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 239 

why should such things be found in our Hymnal ? 1 
Yet many have been awakened to spiritual life by 
the Prayer-book ; and none who have used it faith- 
fully have failed to feel the power of its deep 
reality. The fanatic may think it cold and formal, 
but it is only as the coldness of health when touched 
by the hand of fever. 

2. A hymn must be vigorous ! Not affected or 
overstrained in tone, it must yet be animated ; not 
too reflective and diffuse ; speaking in words which, 
though calm, are forcible. I place this, the most 
important intellectual characteristic of a hymn, 
next to its most important moral characteristic ; 
and the two are nearly connected. Nothing 
weakens a hymn so much as want of truthfulness ; 

1 A volume might be written upon the changes in the out- 
ward forms of emotion, which climate, race, and civilization 
bring with them ; changes which are in nothing more con- 
spicuous than in the greater calmness of our sorrow as 
compared with that of our fathers. Uncontrollable grief 
brought no suspicion of weakness upon the saint or hero of 
the Middle Ages ; nor does it now upon the Oriental. 
Tears were true signs of repentance then ; there was nothing 
forced or unnatural in inviting people literally to weep at the 
foot of the Cross. But we have learned now better the 
Divine philosophy of our Lord's warning not to disfigure our 
faces when we fast. The sorrow which overflows at the eyes 
and the lips quickly evaporates, and is already half sensuous ; 
the sorrow which abides within is fruitful and permanent. 
Besides, too, the penitence of a redeemed man has already 
begun to be turned into joy. Hence it is that a true English 
churchman feels the hysterical hymns of the Oratory merely 
painful and loathsome. I grieve that the editors of Hymns 
Ancient and Modern should have admitted one or two, which 
forcibly remind me of a certain saying of Mr. Ruskin's about 
Swiss crucifixes. 



240 HVMNOLOGY 

unreal emotion runs into inflated and overstrained 
language, or into tame and spiritless imitation. 
Numbers of Dissenting hymns are weak dilutions 
of Watts ; Wesley's " Lo, He comes," gave birth to 
a whole volume of Advent hymns in the same 
metre ; just as in our own day the Christian 
Year has been the model for many a set of verses, 
like it on nothing but its metres and its Anglicanism. 
The permanence of a hymn depends more upon its 
vigour than upon any other quality. The hymns 
that can be called really great the representative 
hymns of the Church are few in number ; they 
are most diverse in character ; but this they have 
in common, that they had power to embody in 
themselves the characteristics of the time which 
gave them birth. The whole faith of the Primitive 
Church shines out from the Te Deum ; the whole 
piety of the Middle Ages is in Dies Irce and Stabat 
Mater ; the whole power of the Reformation rings 
through " Ein feste Burg." So Ken's three hymns, 
the dying words of seventeenth-century Churchman- 
ship, precisely represent its spirit ; as " Rock of 
Ages " does the Evangelicalism of the succeeding 
century. Now some of these hymns are very full, 
and some very brief; they differ most widely in 
merit ; but they have one thing in common vigour 
and therefore they live and speak on to human 
hearts. 

3. A hymn should be simple. Hymns are not 
for the few, but for the many, not chiefly to be read 
and pondered over, but chiefly to be sung. And 
the hymns of a National Hymnal, especially, are 
meant for all classes in the nation. 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 241 

While then they should not be vulgar or puerile, 
they should be easy to understand ; the language 
plain, the thoughts not too far-fetched. Some of 
Dr. Neale's translations are faulty in this respect, 
Thus in the O quanta qualia before mentioned, a 
hymn I long to see in every collection, we have 
such lines as " Wish and fulfilment can severed be 
ne'er," and " There dawns no Sabbath no Sabbath 
is o'er "; and in others of his best hymns, " God the 
Trinal? " Conjubilant with song," " Laud and 
honour," and other perfectly needless Latinisms. 
Other translators, however, particularly Mr. Wil- 
liams and Mr. Blew, are nearly or quite as guilty. 
Indeed, the volume of the last-named editor has 
almost the effect of being written in the days of 
" Euphues," and might have been conned by Don 
Armado and Sir Percie Shafton. Even in Hymns 
Ancient and Modern there are too many verses 
that, as a friend complained to me not long ago, 
" begin with the verb and end with the nominative 
case." Complexity of metaphor and imagery is 
yet more fatal to success. Perhaps if I were to 
name a model of simplicity, I might fix upon our 
old Easter hymn, " Jesus Christ is risen to-day," 
as appended to the Prayer-book. Every word 
might be understood by a child ; yet how well 
does it commemorate the one great fact of the 
Resurrection, in language homely indeed, but 
perfectly sincere and adequate. 

4. This leads me further to add A hymn should 
be brief. I protested last month against the cur- 
tailment of hymns ; and whenever a hymn, like 
the one I then cited, is framed on a definite plan, 

Q 



242 HYMNOLOGY 

it must suffer from abridgment. I am bound to 
say, however, that a very long hymn, which, like 
some of Paul Gerhardt's, flows on till it has out- 
grown its strength, from lack of purpose and con- 
centration on the part of the author, is also a great 
evil. Many of the German hymns in Mr. Mercer's 
book, though curtailed, are still too long for our 
congregations to use. The Mediaeval Church, I 
need not say, constantly abridged long hymns ; and 
with proper precaution, we may improve some of 
our own by this process. The verses which have 
disappeared from Charles Wesley's Christmas 
Hymn, which any one may now see in the Book of 
Praise (34), are better away. Another fine hymn of 
his, " Soldiers of Christ, arise," has gained by com- 
pression, though it is frequently too closely pruned. 
Indeed, Charles Wesley did not scruple to abridge 
his own hymns in preparing the present W T esleyan 
Hymn-book. Watts too bracketed in his own 
hymns such verses as he thought might be con- 
veniently omitted ; and in general, where the object 
of curtailment is to increase the clearness and 
vigour of a hymn, it may be safely attempted. 1 
Eight four-line stanzas, or thirty-two lines, may be 
taken as a limit which it is not desirable a hymn 
should exceed. Even this implies quick singing, 
which, though generally to be encouraged, is not of 
course applicable to every hymn and tune. 

5. Lastly to go back to Augustine we are to 
remember that a hymn is cum cantico, it is to be 
sung ; and therefore it must be adapted to music. 

1 The compressed version of the writer's " Saviour, again," 
is a good example of this. H. H. 



PRINCIPLES OF HYMN-BOOK CONSTRUCTION 243 

The metre, therefore, ought not to be too complex, 
or greatly varied. The rhythm ought not to be 
rugged, nor the diction bald and prosaic. We 
cannot always expect real poetry, even in a good 
hymn ; but we have a right to expect words that 
lend themselves well to the simple and solemn 
music which alone is fit for congregational worship. 
Moreover, certain metres are adapted to certain 
subjects. The stately march of our Long Metre 
suits well the dignity of the Ambrosian hymn; but 
it is not so well fitted for jubilant words. For 
these by far the best metre would be some form of 
Trochaic, particularly 8-7, with four, six, or eight 
lines to the verse. Again, a lengthy hymn in 
Short Metre, or a penitential hymn in what is called 
1 48th, would be almost intolerable. 

These hints by no means exhaust the subject ; 
but they may serve to show my readers that there 
are principles of criticism other than mere liking, 
or partisanship, or fashion, by which we may judge 
of our hymns; principles too, I hope, easy to 
understand and to apply. I cannot, however, bring 
this paper to a close without one caution. The 
Church of the present day may find herself com- 
pelled, by the force of circumstances, to sit in 
judgment upon the Hymnody of the past ; but let 
not her tribunal be the seat of the scorner. Surely 
the days are past when it was a sign of good 
Churchmanship to ridicule the extravagances of the 
Methodist, or the vulgarities of the Dissenter. I 
think I have been able to select instances of the 
faults I have pointed out from hymnists of every 
school. But it is a thankless task merely to point 



244 IIYMNOLOGY 

out faults. The Hymnody of our land ought to 
be criticized in a spirit of reverence, of humility, 
and of brotherly kindness. Now that the Church 
is girding herself once more to her long-neglected 
work, it ill becomes her to sneer at the half- 
educated men who evangelized England while her 
clergy were amusing themselves. We are entering 
into their spiritual labours, in laying our hands 
upon their Hymnody for our own purposes. We 
shall find bad taste, vulgarity, rudeness enough. 
We may smile at Watts bidding us " drop a tear or 
two," at Newton " hoping to die shouting," at 
Wesley protesting that " no sight upon earth is so 
fair " as a corpse ; but for a century and a half we 
went on singing what we call Psalms, which made 
the Almighty talk to the " conscious moon," and 
proclaim that birds were "more happy far than" 
ourselves. And that long-despised Hymnody has 
done what Tate and Brady never could do ; it has 
awakened, nourished, and sustained the spiritual 
life of tens of thousands, in every rank of society, 
in every corner of the earth, under every possible 
circumstance of trial. Let us handle it modestly, 
patiently, wisely ; seeking for light and guidance 
in its use from Him who resisteth the proud, but 
giveth grace unto the humble ; grace to separate 
the good from the evil, to discern the treasure in 
the earthen vessel 

" To pierce the veil on Moses' face, 
Although his speech be slow." 



PRACTICAL HINTS 245 



No. IV 

PRACTICAL HINTS TO THOSE WHO USE HYMN- 
BOOKS AT PRESENT 

I SHALL throw my concluding observations 
into a form somewhat different to that which the 
previous papers on this subject have assumed. For 
in venturing to give a few practical hints as to the 
use of hymns, I can no longer address myself to 
such a mere abstraction as the " reader." I must 
suppose myself in communication with some of the 
many friends, between whom and myself a common 
interest in the training or directing of our Parochial 
Choirs has become a bond of union. 

It is, I need scarcely say, the congregational use 
of hymns of which these papers have professed to 
treat ; and to those in whose hands the direction 
of our congregational singing is placed I now speak. 
Happily for the Church, that direction, at least in 
our rural parishes, is most frequently the task, if 
not of the clergyman, at any rate of some member 
of his family, some friend or associate upon whose 
taste and direction he can rely, and with whom he 
can at any time communicate frankly, without fear 
of giving offence. In large parishes the choir is 
often of sufficient importance to be under the 
direction of a paid trainer or leader, who ought, if 
possible, to be an intelligent and well-educated 
Churchman. And yet in such cases the need of a 
strict organization, of definite rules, and of a distinct 
understanding that the clergyman is really respons- 



246 IIYMNOLOGV 

ible for what is sung, is even more urgent than in 
a smaller choir. If the singing is an act of worship, 
and so a means of grace, the minister of the con- 
gregation is necessarily the one only right person 
to see that it is really and effectually what it ought 
to be. 

I have only to do with metrical hymns and their 
use ; let me ask my friends, then, by whom are 
these to be used ? Of course, the answer, in theory, 
is, by the congregation. Your object, then, is to get 
your hymns sung by your congregation. 

Now a congregation consists of four divisions : 
First, those who can and do sing ; secondly, those 
who can and don't; thirdly, those who can't and 
do ; and fourthly, those who carit and don't. All 
four of these divisions must be affected by the 
singing. The first, whether nominally members 
of the choir or no, are the natural leaders of the 
service of song, and through them you must influ- 
ence the rest ; the second must be encouraged and 
cultivated till they pass into the first ; the third 
must be kindly borne with and tolerated, till they 
are drowned by the first two ; while the last will 
assuredly feel and enjoy the power of true congre- 
gational worship ; they k too will make melody in 
their hearts, though God has seen fit to deny them 
the privilege of doing so with their lips, and among 
them you will often find your chief encouragement, 
your warmest sympathy, and perhaps your most 
substantial help. But do not, I beseech you, fall 
into the vulgar error of thinking that you can pro- 
mote congregational singing by depreciating your 
choir, or that it will come right of itself in some 



PRACTICAL HINTS 247 

inexplicable way, without care or attention on your 
part. A congregation can no more sing without 
leaders than a regiment can march without officers. 
Do not think that the singing among Dissenters, 
which is often spoken of as being eminently con- 
gregational, is purely spontaneous. Any one who 
is acquainted with the organization of a meeting- 
house knows what pains are generally taken with 
the singers, what tempting overtures, on special 
occasions, are made to members of neighbouring 
choirs, what importance is attached to the classes 
for practice within the congregation. And thus, 
though the hymns may be in wretched taste, the 
music vulgar and florid, and actually far more 
difficult than really good Church music, the result 
is congregational singing, because of the pains taken 
with the matter. There is not the slightest reason 
why your congregation should not sing much 
better music quite as heartily, not for display, but 
for worship. If you dread a merely sensuous 
service, if you are anxious that the singing, as well 
as the prayers, should reflect that spirituality which 
belongs to all true communion with God, still, 
believe me, you will never promote spirituality by 
letting things alone. For what is the result ? If 
you have no choir, you either have no singing, or 
singing led by one or two untrained voices, children, 
or teachers. Perhaps a few of the bolder members 
of the congregation will join in, but they have 
never practised together ; they cannot keep to- 
gether, except at a pace of wearisome slowness ; 
they are chilled by the silence of many around 
them ; and generally the singing becomes the most 



248 HYMNOLOGY 

tedious and unprofitable part of the whole service ; 
and you yourself will be left to wonder why, after 
you have preached to them again and again upon 
the subject, your people will not sing as warmly 
and heartily as the Dissenters. And yet there is a 
worse case ; the case in which singing is sure to 
become truly sensuous and profane ; when a parish 
has a choir which is left to its own devices, with no 
judicious hand to control it, and no pastoral sym- 
pathy to encourage it. Then it is that music is 
selected purposely and avowedly to display the 
skill of the performers ; that chants and tunes are 
changed perpetually, lest the congregation should 
learn them ; that the words are so entirely sub- 
ordinated to the music as to render the singers 
indifferent to the most glaring absurdities ; and, 
finally, that all idea of Church singing as an act of 
worship dies out of the minds of those engaged in 
it. The sooner such a choir is abolished the better 
for the glory of God and the welfare of the con- 
gregation. But if a choir be well organized, well 
trained, and directed by those who have right views 
as to its true object and functions, and if the music 
selected be such as congregations generally can be 
expected to sing, and the words such as they ought 
to sing, then I maintain that there is no help to 
congregational singing so powerful as such a choir ; 
and that under its leading the very finest congre- 
gational singing may be expected to develop 
itself. It may seem invidious to cite one particular 
congregation in illustration of a statement which is 
now happily being verified in hundreds ; but I 
cannot help remarking that any one who worships 






PRACTICAL HINTS 249 

on Sunday evening in the parish church of Leeds 
will be speedily convinced that the grandest and 
most hearty congregational singing of metrical 
tunes is perfectly compatible with the existence of 
a very powerful and skilful choir, and even of music 
which errs on the side of elaboration rather than of 
simplicity. 

The fact is, that congregational singing depends 
much upon the selection of the words and tunes of 
the metrical Hymnody, and upon the manner in 
which these are sung. Therefore my first advice 
to a friend who wishes to make his congregation 
sing is, Be careful as to what you make them sing ; 
and my second, Take some pains to teach them 
and to help them to sing. 

And first, as to the selection of words. Look to 
your hymn-book ; criticize it, ask yourself, not 
whether you like everything it contains, but whether 
it is a real help to public worship ; whether the 
hymns are hymns indeed, and whether, upon the 
whole, they are good hymns. If not, you will 
never have congregational singing till some change 
be made. You may not think it wise to abolish 
the book ; it may be quite good enough to be 
retained, yet deficient in many of the requirements 
of a hymn-book. In that case you had better try 
to add to it. If you can print a supplement of 
your own, and present it to your congregation, you 
will often conciliate those who would be disturbed 
by the suppression of the book to which they are 
accustomed. In that case you may choose freely 
from existing books, so long as you do not sell a 
single copy of your compilation. But if you dis- 



250 HYMNOLOGV 

trust yourself, or dread the expense of this process, 
or if you have no hymn-book which you wish to 
retain, you had better fix upon some hymnal 
already in existence. And here comes in another 
consideration. If your congregation be large, and 
tolerably well educated, containing many persons 
who are likely to sing from notes, it is convenient 
to select a hymnal which may be obtained in the 
form of a Choral-book ; i. e. with the tunes in short 
score, on the same page as the words. This is a 
direct encouragement to congregations to sing, and 
to those skilled in music to take their own part, 
when hymns are sung in harmony. In this form 
you may procure the Chorale Book for England 
(too expensive, however, and consisting exclusively 
of translations from the German), Mercer's Church 
Psalter and Hymn-book (in which German and 
Wesleyan hymns predominate), the new Hymnal 
of the Christian Knowledge Society, Chope's 
Congregational Hynm-Book, Morrell and Hows' 
Psalms and Hymns, Hymns Ancient and Modern, 
and a few others. The last is also published 
in the Tonic Sol-fa notation. The words of 
each of these, of course, can be had separately 
without the music. The disadvantage of using 
Choral-books is, that the congregation is tied to 
a certain set of tunes, and these not always the 
best adapted to the words, but only the best which 
the law of copyright, and the judgment of the 
editor combined, enabled him to set to them. In 
country churches, and wherever the congregation 
sing by ear rather than by eye, it is much better 
that the director of the choir should keep himself 



PRACTICAL HINTS 251 

free to use tunes selected from every source within 
his reach, so as to adapt to each hymn the melody 
best fitted for it. 

But another and a much-neglected part of the 
duty of the director of a choir, is the selection week 
by week of the hymns to be sung. Let me urge 
upon you to consider how important a task this is ; 
how closely connected with God's glory is the 
choosing the form of words in which His Church is 
to show forth His praise ; how largely the spiritual 
life and health of a congregation may be fostered 
by care or checked by negligence in this particular. 
How can a conscientious clergyman ever delegate 
this task to any one whom he cannot thoroughly 
trust? How can he be content with permitting 
his people to sing words which he would not ven- 
ture himself to utter as an act of personal worship ? 
How can he ever suffer it to be supposed that the 
hymn exists for the sake of the tune, by allowing 
an objectionable hymn to be even occasionally 
used for the sake of the music to which it has been 
set ? The reform of our hymnody is, after all, very 
much in the hands of the clergy. If you will be 
firm in your resolve that hymns which ought not to 
be sung shall never be sung by your congregation ; 
if you will keep your own marked copy of your 
hymn-book, and determine to suppress every bad 
hymn, and to give preference to the best and most 
vigorous, familiarizing your people with them by 
frequent use, you will do your part towards creating 
a taste for good hymns, which will soon show itself 
in the general improvement of existing collections, 
and be the best possible foundation for a National 



252 HYMNOLOGY 

Hymnal worthy of our Prayer-book in time to 
come. 

But, alas ! it is surprising how thoughtless and 
unmeaning is the use of even the good hymns we 
have. Take, for instance, Bishop Ken's Morning 
Hymn, and consider how ingeniously our choirs 
generally contrive to spoil it. Look at it as it 
stands in the Winchester Manual, or in the Book 
of Praise (246), or in its earlier form, if you can 
obtain it, in the Layman's Life of Ken. The 
hymn consists of fourteen verses. It begins with 
meditation, wholly private and personal, and rises 
gradually into devotion. First the speaker ad- 
dresses himself; secondly the angels ; thirdly God. 
The first eight verses are mere preparation ; the 
true worship begins at the ninth. This devotional 
part, though uttered in the first person, is, in its 
simple, universal character, perfectly fitted for con- 
gregational use, with the exception of two stanzas 
which are a little tainted with the extravagance 
and artificiality of the age. And now, how do we 
generally employ it? First, we seldom use the 
devotional part at all, except the final doxology, 
but perversely select the preparatory verses ad- 
dressed to the soul, that is to say, exactly the 
part which is unfit for public use, and make that 
an act of public worship. Secondly, we take the 
words which refer to first waking, and to sunrise, 
and transfer them from the scholar's bedside to the 
forenoon service of the congregation, when the sun 
has been for hours high in heaven. In Ireland, I 
am told, where "Morning Prayer" usually begins 
at mid-day, this absurdity is still more glaring. 



PRACTICAL HINTS 253 

Thirdly, we sing this hymn on Sunday, and yet 
avoid those verses which are applicable to every 
day alike, and use those which specially refer to 
the "daily stage of duty " which a devout Church- 
man does not willingly "run" upon the Day of 
Rest. And yet we flatter ourselves that the Church 
of England, beyond other Churches, sings with the 
understanding as well as with the spirit ! 

But this is only one out of well-nigh innumerable 
instances of thoughtlessness which grievously im- 
pair the solemn beauty of our noble ritual. How 
often we hear hymns which speak of the daylight 
being past sung in the full blaze of a summer after- 
noon ; or penitential hymns on festivals ? I have 
heard the fifty-first Psalm sung on Whit Sunday. I 
know a church in which very great attention is 
paid to ritual correctness, where at the Sunday 
afternoon catechizings it is customary for the 
children to sing a hymn, composed I have no doubt 
originally for an orphan asylum, in which they are 
made to lament that their fathers and mothers are 
all dead ! But it is a needless and a thankless task 
to multiply instances. 

Next to the hymn comes the tune. I will not 
be tempted to wander from the subject of these 
papers into any remarks upon the character of our 
metrical tunes. I have at present only to do with 
a tune as interpreting a hymn. I would then warn 
my friends who are directors of choirs, not merely 
to be satisfied with the excellence of a tune as a 
composition, but to be very careful in noting 
whether it is really adapted to the words to which 
they purpose to sing it. And let them not say 



254 HYMNOLOGY 

Cela va sans dire. Our very best compilers of 
Choral-books often make serious mistakes in this 
respect, hence the necessity of studying the charac- 
ter as well as the metre and accentuation of each 
tune. Let me give one or two hints drawn from 
experience. 

1. Lay down as a general rule, that each hymn 
should have one tune to it. The converse of course 
does not follow, that each tune should be sung to 
one hymn, and no more. But try patiently and 
carefully to match each hymn with the tune fittest 
for it, and keep to that. There is only one excep- 
tion to this rule : when you use the same hymn 
through the year on any particular occasion e. g. 
Morning or Evening, Baptism, or Holy Com- 
munion and desire to vary the expression of it in 
accordance with the season ; then you may adopt 
the mediaeval practice of having a penitential and 
a jubilant melody for it, in addition to the ordinary 
or " ferial " one. But it is better to change the 
hymn than the tune if you can do so. 

2. In adapting tunes to words, consider the 
meaning and the metre. For the first, it is well to 
know something of the history of the hymn. An 
ancient tune will often best fit an ancient hymn ; 
a German tune a Lutheran, Moravian, or Wesleyan 
hymn. Each Church season too has its distinctive 
character, which ought to be reflected in its music. 
The tune of an Advent hymn ought not to fit a 
Lent hymn, nor ought that of a Christmas hymn 
to be used for an Easter hymn. But a Christmas 
tune will often suit a School Festival, or an Easter 
tune a Harvest hymn, admirably. And as to 



PRACTICAL HINTS 2$ 5 

metre, it is not enough to fit note to syllable, and 
accent to accent, accurately. The place of the 
rhymes should be noticed, especially in Long 
Metre and " Sevens " hymns. Some tunes are 
composed for verses of which the couplets rhyme 
(as in Ken's hymns) ; others for verses of which 
the rhymes are alternate (as in the Hundredth 
Psalm). And if a tune of the first kind is used for 
a hymn of the second, there will be a sense of un- 
fitness felt, which will often make it difficult for a 
congregation, they scarcely know why, to take it 
up. Thus, besides the " Old Hundredth," Ware- 
ham " and " Angels " ought never to be sung to 
rhyming couplets. Hymns which require to be 
sung slowly are the only ones which, as a general 
rule, should be sung in " triple time." It is better 
to make this restriction than to change into " com- 
mon time" a tune originally written with three 
beats in a bar. 

3. No general rule can be laid down as to the 
pace at which hymns should be sung. There are 
some good remarks on this subject in the preface 
to Hymns Ancient and Modern. But each hymn 
has its own proper speed, depending upon its 
character. By repeated experiments you will 
discover this in each case ; and you may take the 
opportunity of testing your own judgment by that 
of some good and carefully regulated choir. Having 
got the true speed of any hymn, mark in your book 
the number of seconds which one verse should 
occupy (as is done in the excellent little collection 
of " Metrical Tunes " originally published in the 
Parish Choir\ and never allow your singers to 



HYMNOLOGY 

fall behind the standard rate. But remember, that 
rate may very probably differ, not for each tune 
only, but for each hymn. Generally, however, all 
ill-trained choirs sing metrical tunes far too slowly, 
and chant too fast. 

Need I add to these hints one more ? Give your 
congregation every opportunity of learning to sing 
the hymns you select. Encourage classes for 
practice. Circulate the music you use among those 
who will play and sing it at home. Do all you can 
to break down the notion that the choir are to sing 
instead of the people. This, indeed, is one of the 
many good reasons for the choir being an unpaid 
body, that it is thereby more closely identified with 
the congregation, and less likely to be looked upon 
as a corps of officials delegated to do that which 
the general body of worshippers are unwilling or 
unable to do. I am speaking, of course, of ordin- 
ary congregations, not of those whose circum- 
stances permit them, in addition to their own part 
in [the service of song, to decorate the house of 
God, through the means of a first-rate choir, with 
a more difficult and elaborate offering of praise. 
But much mischief is still done by the attempts 
of village choirs to imitate those of large town 
churches and cathedrals. This, however, is an evil 
which I trust the progress of Church Choral 
Associations in our rural districts will do much to 
remedy. A judicious choir-master, passing from 
parish to parish, will teach better than any book 
what the service of song in a village church ought 
to be ; and the periodical gatherings of country 
choirs in some central church will show how noble 



PRACTICAL HINTS 257 

and beautiful, in its own place, such a service may 
be made. 

My subject has led me to dwell largely upon the 
use of hymns by the congregation. But before I 
close these papers, let me plead once more for their 
more systematic use by the individual Christian 
their use, I mean, not simply like that of the 
Christian Year, or other religious poetry, but as 
definite forms of worship, of private prayer and 
praise. In the ancient Church, the distinction 
between private and public devotion was so much 
less marked than is now possible, that the same 
hymns sufficed for both. The same " Hours" 
might be said in the Minster and in the Hermitage. 
But wherever said, praise formed a part of the 
daily office, and that praise was expressed in 
metrical language. Each canonical hour, each day 
of the week, each season, each festival, had its own 
hymn. I do not ask for so unnatural a thing as a 
return to this rigid system, or even to the modifi- 
cations of it which have been again and again 
attempted in our Church in the " Primer " of the 
Reformation, in the devotions of Cosin and Taylor, 
by the devout Nonjurors, or by like-minded men 
in our own day. There are, doubtless, some who 
can follow such a system with profit ; but with 
most of us it is a mere impossibility. Yet this one 
lesson I think all might learn from such manuals 
of devotion the power of hymns as forms of 
worship. And when we consider the vast hymnody 
we already possess, really true and beautiful, the 
result of a great and powerful movement within or 
around our Church, we can scarcely help feeling 

R 



258 HYMNOLOGV 

that we are neglecting a great gift from God, if 
we simply reject all which we cannot use in public. 
The hymns of the great Evangelical school will 
doubtless be its best and noblest monument to the 
end of time. If those which will become enshrined 
in our Church Hymnal are found to be fewer in 
number than some among us hitherto have thought, 
yet, on the other hand, no period of our Church's 
history has brought to bear upon the sorrows and 
conflicts of the individual soul a larger experience 
or a truer sympathy. While, then, the Pre-Reform- 
ation ages will always be those which most 
influence our forms of common worship, the worship 
of the individual must needs bear most vividly the 
impress of Protestant theology. The one manifests 
what all are to God, the other what God is to each. 
I trust to see the day when each idea shall find 
its full realization in our worship ; when, side by 
side with the simple, calm, comprehensive, object- 
ive Hymnal of the Common Prayer-book, we 
shall have a Hymnal for the hour when the door 
is shut, and the heart is unveiled to the Father. 
For the two can never be one. 

There are thoughts which it is dangerous to our 
strength and sincerity of character to utter before 
man ; there are burdens upon the spirit, and per- 
plexities of the conscience, to which we have now 
found that no words of common worship can bring 
relief. There are joys with which a stranger does 
not intermeddle. The soul has its Lent, its Easter, 
its Pentecost. Private devotion requires its own 
especial embodiment ; and all who have tried it 
will own that no form of private devotion (and 



PRACTICAL HINTS 259 

forms of some sort must be found) is to be com- 
pared to a really good hymn, for its expressiveness, 
its suggestiveness, its soothing or elevating power, 
the facility with which it comes to mind, its 
perpetual and friendly presence to the memory, its 
witness to a thousand hallowed and peaceful as- 
sociations, its calming and consoling influence in 
pain or weariness, in weakness, in death itself. It 
is not surely a thought to be lightly passed over, it 
is not without a lesson of deep significance for us 
all, that our Divine Master sustained His spirit 
upon His awful deathbed, not with any new utter- 
ances of devotion, not with aspirations coming fresh 
from the lips of Him who spake as never man 
spake, but with the familiar words of His Church's 
Psalmody, the broken fragments of the Hymnal of 
His Childhood. 1 

1 Psalms xxii. I ; xxxi. 5. 



SPEECH UNSPOKEN AT THE NOTTING- 
HAM CHURCH CONGRESS, 1871 

THE arguments in favour of an authorized hymnal 
are very plain and obvious. It is a thankless task 
to speak of objections and difficulties, even though 
an objection may resolve itself into a groundless 
apprehension, and a difficulty may exist only to be 
overcome. 

The very first question that meets us when we 
speak of an authorized hymnal must be, What does 
" authorized " mean ? From what source is the 
authority derived, and how is it to be exercised ? 
We may be willing, as loyal Churchmen, to be 
bound by the judgment of the Convocations of the 
two Provinces, and to accept for ourselves a hymnal 
prepared under their auspices ; yet I think we can 
scarcely hope that such an authority is weighty 
enough to command the universal adoption by the 
Church of such a book. If "authorized" means 
authorized by the same sanctions as the Book of 
Common Prayer, we are landed at once in the midst 
of difficult and thorny controversies ; and the 
events which have occurred in connection with the 
far easier task of revising our Table of Lessons 
may well lead us to despair of a successful issue. 
260 



SPEECH UNSPOKEN, CHURCH CONGRESS, iS/I 261 

Then what must the book be ? Is it to be 
denuded of all that might offend any school of 
thought in the Church ? Then we shall have a 
merely vapid and colourless book, and round it 
there will grow an accretion of highly-coloured 
supplements ; uniformity will be no nearer; and 
the object sought will be defeated. Or is the book 
to be comprehensive, so as fairly to represent, on 
all disputed points, the devotional side of each 
party in our Church ? Alas, the hymns which 
some will regard as absolutely indispensable are 
just those which will prove a grievous scandal and 
stumbling-block to others. Fierce battles will be 
fought over its construction, and it will come into 
the world only to meet on all sides the serried ranks 
of men prepared at all risks to refuse acceptance 
to it. 

But another point. The time is ill-suited for the 
task of constructing a permanent Church hymnal. 
There are three sources 

1. The Evangelical hymns of the eighteenth 
century, and of the first thirty years of this 
century. 

2. Translations Ancient and Mediaeval, as well 
as foreign Protestant, a mine only very partially 
explored. 

3. The living growing hymnody of our own 
and sister Churches. It has burst into an almost 
tropical luxuriance under the glow of revived 
Church life tropical often in its beauty and sweet- 
ness, sometimes in its rankness and unwholesome- 
ness. And here I come to the main point. Is this 
rich growth to be arrested frost-bound I had 



262 HYMNOLOGY 

almost said by the spell of authority ? Can it 
be so ? A uniform book cannot arrest the free 
development of our hymns it would be disastrous 
if it could. Will all the fervid spirits who almost 
chafe under the restrictions of our form of prayer, 
who are repelled by the majestic calmness of our 
Morning and Evening Offices, and prefer to kneel 
through our Communion Service, using devotions 
more suited to their temper of mind than our 
Liturgy can furnish or those who call (and not 
unreasonably) for new forms of prayer adapted to 
the varying needs of a growing and widespread 
Church will these be content to place upon their 
necks the yoke of an authorized hymnal ? I don't 
think we have any right to ask them ; and I fear 
if we attempt it we shall either totally fail, or 
achieve a success which is worse than a defeat. 
There is danger in a move in the direction of 
restriction just at the moment of a cry for 
elasticity. 

Then again, a uniform hymnal implies a uniform, 
or nearly uniform, level of Christian life in the 
Church. But is it so ? Can it be that the same 
hymn-book is equally fit for a neglected country 
parish, and for a devout and highly-educated 
suburban congregation ; for a Mission Church in 
some poor district, and for the College Chapel or 
the Cathedral Choir; for Cornwall and for Lanca- 
shire ; for London and for Wales ? Other sects 
are indeed, it may be said, provided each with its 
own hymnal ; but with these, just because they are 
sects, there must needs be a more uniform level 
of religion than in a great and national Church ; 



SPEECH UNSPOKEN, CHURCH CONGRESS, 1 87 1 263 

uniformity and comprehensiveness cannot consist. 
Far better surely to let the various shades of 
theological opinion in our own communion find 
each its fitting devotional expression in hymns, so 
long as we can keep our Prayer-book the one 
common heritage, and the one uniting bond of 
them all. 

But though I think one national hymnal is 
neither possible nor desirable, yet there is every 
reason why we should set this before us as an ideal 
towards which we are to work for the future, and 
which in some calmer and happier day our 
children may yet attain. And I must say a word 
before I sit down as to what we of this generation 
can do to purify and elevate our hymnody. Now 
we must all confess that in the new development 
of our hymnody God of His goodness has given us 
an instrument of great power to do our work with ; 
and I do hope the time may soon come when we 
shall be, not merely tacitly but avowedly, permitted 
to make the fullest and freest use possible of this 
instrument to quicken and express our devotion, 
our penitence, our watchfulness, our thankfulness ; 
when no one shall deem it a badge of party to 
enter into His gates with thanksgiving in our joyous 
processionals, to fall low on our knees before His 
footstool in our metrical litanies, or to worship Him 
in the beauty of holiness in our Eucharistic songs. 
From all the hymns of the past we may learn some 
lesson for the present as to their varied use from 
the Ambrosians their help in promoting daily and 
hourly communion with God ; from mediaeval 
hymns their power in interpreting the mysteries of 



264 HYMNOLOGY 

our faith ; from Germany their hymns of Christian 
experience ; from the Wesleyans their evangelistic 
power. But in our very affluence and freedom there 
is a special danger. And I do desire to take the 
occasion of the first free discussion on hymns which 
a Church Congress has held to appeal most earnestly 
to my brother clergy and choir-masters to stand out 
like men against the ever-increasing flood of unreal 
and sensuous hymns. I know all that is to be said for 
these : they are so popular the children like them 
their music is so pretty they make our services 
so hearty. But what is the popularity of an hour, 
if it is purchased by the sacrifice of sincerity ? If 
we are to maintain God's truth our words to God 
must be true. If we are to win back for Christ the 
pith and manhood of England we must ourselves 
be manly. Those who grind among the iron facts 
of life cannot and will not be fed upon the loveliest 
dreams. You want to train our children to perfect 
their Saviour's praise. Ah ! but when the saintly 
prisoner of Orleans l gathered the little ones round 
the window of his cell to teach them their Palm 
Sunday Hosannas, he did not tell them that 
banners brightly gleaming would point their path 
to heaven, but that the praises of their hearts were 
the palms and flowers that Jesus would accept, and 
that He Himself would be their Guide into the 
heavenly Jerusalem. 

You want to draw the weary and heavy-laden to 
the foot of the Cross yes ; but when the Italian 
Knight 2 rose up broken-hearted but consecrated 

1 St. Theodulph, Bishop of Orleans, dr. 820. 

2 Jacobus de Benedictus, cent. 13. 



SPEECH UNSPOKEN, CHURCH CONGRESS, 1 87 1 265 

from the grave of his blighted life and buried love, 
to take refuge in the thought of the more awful 
sorrow of her who stood beside that Cross, his 
immortal Stabat Mater does not linger upon all 
the merely physical details of the death of deaths, 
but goes straight to the heart of the transcendent 
mystery of love and sorrow. You want to nerve 
the Lord's champions to fight their battle against 
the banded powers of evil ; but " the solitary monk 
that shook the world " l did not go forward to meet 
the devils whom he believed to be opposing him 
with the challenge of a surpliced train and organ 
swell, but in the power of Him Who is a sure strong- 
hold in the day of trouble, and Who knoweth them 
that trust Him. 2 

1 R. Montgomery, " Luther." 2 Nahum i. 7. 



HYMNS AND HYMN-SINGING 

Paper read before the Church Congress, held at Stoke-upon- 
Trent, Friday evening; October 8, 1875. 

THE branch of this subject with which I am 
now about to deal is the present condition and 
future prospects of congregational hymnody in 
the Church of England. 

All of us, probably, are aware that the present 
condition of our hymnody is one of rapid some 
would say of too luxuriant growth. That growth 
is not restricted to our own Church or nation. 
The old distinction between Lutheran and Calvin- 
istic communions, that the one were singers of 
hymns, the others of metrical psalms, bids fair 
to be entirely abolished before the present century 
comes to a close. Among French Protestant 
congregations Chants CJiretiens in one form or 
another (some of them translations of English 
hymns) have all but superseded the psalms of 
Marot and Beza, just as among ourselves Tate and 
Brady have fallen into disuse. Even the old 
Scotch Psalms are slowly giving way before the 
newer rivals, and each of the chief Presbyterian 
communions in England and Scotland has its own 
modern hymn-book in use or in progress. Among 
266 



HYMNS AND HYMN-SINGING 267 

ourselves the revolution is now virtually com- 
pleted. Two results have followed. The first, the 
vast impulse given to the multiplication of hymns ; 
their free and abundant employment among us, 
their interpolation at various points of our regular 
services, their value in the various special services 
which have arisen among us children's services, 
missions, choir-gatherings, and the like, their evan- 
gelistic use, on which I do not now dwell all this 
has enormously augmented their power and their 
popularity, and has, of course, tended to multiply 
their number. Then while the twenty-five years 
from 1835 to 1860 will be marked by future hymn- 
ologists as the age of translations, the time when 
Latin, and to a less extent German hymnody was 
made available for congregational use among us, 
the fifteen years which have since elapsed have 
been years of almost unexampled fertility in the 
production of original English hymns. Doubtless 
many of these will ere long be disused and for- 
gotten. But it is to be noticed that these new 
hymns are not mere additions to our stock. They 
are displacing the older ones to a great extent. 
While the best of the early Evangelical and 
Wesleyan hymns ar I am convinced, valued by 
Church people far lore than they ever were, it 
is worth while remaiKing how few of them appear 
likely to remain in use. I may take as represent- 
atives of modern Church hymn-books three of 
those which now command the largest sale, Hymns 
Ancient and Modern, Mr. 1 Bickersteth's Hymnal 
Companion to the Book of Common Prayer, and the 
Now Bishop. 



268 IIYMNOLOGY 

new Church Hymns of the S.P.C.K. Out of Watts' 
720 hymns, five are in Hymns Ancient and Modern, 
eleven in Church Hymns , while but twenty-eight 
survive even in Mr. Bickersteth's. Of the 348 
Olney Hymns Mr. Bickersteth preserves twenty- 
one, Hymns Ancient and Modern but four, Church 
Hymns but six. Notwithstanding the strong 
reaction in favour of Charles Wesley's hymns, 
Hymns Ancient and Modern gives us out of the 
twelve great volumes but thirteen hymns, Church 
Hymns twenty-three, and Mr. Bickersteth's thirty- 
six. Of the other hymn-writers of the eighteenth 
century, about ten of Doddridge's, two or three of 
Toplady's, and a few single ones by other writers, 
are the most that will be found in the books 
mentioned. Later authors, such as Bishop Heber 
and James Montgomery, are of course men largely 
represented. These statistics will show that it is 
not mere addition, but displacement, which is 
occurring. I do not mention this with unmixed 
satisfaction. In the "struggle for life" of hymns 
it is not always the fittest which survive. Happily, 
in their case, disuse is not always death. It may 
be that the calmer wisdom of a future generation 
will in some 'cases reverse the hasty judgment 
of our own day, and restore to our children some 
of those words which animated the praise, enshrined 
the experience, and cheered the dying hours of 
saintly men and women whose names still dwell 
among the hallowed recollections of our own 
childhood. 

Next this increased use of hymns has of 
course brought with it a great change in our 



HYMNS AND HYMN-SINGING 269 

hymn-books. But we must not conclude from 
this that the number of hymn-books published 
has increased in the same proportion. Local 
selections, so common in the early years of this 
century, have almost disappeared. One after 
another large and important hymn-books for 
general use have arisen ; each of these has killed 
off many small competitors, and the number in 
future seems likely to be diminished rather than 
increased. Such local books as now appear are 
mostly mere supplements to one of these. Already 
a clergyman seeking to introduce a new hymn- 
book into his congregation is likely to make his 
choice not, as till lately, from among some twenty 
or thirty, but from among seven or eight at the 
most. 

In turning to the FUTURE, it is natural to ask 
if the tendency of the Church of our own time is 
thus to the widespread use of a few large hymn- 
books ? is it possible or desirable to go a step 
further, and concentrate into one national book the 
few that seem likely to distance all competitors ? 
Or is it to be desired that at least a certain 
number of hymns which are common to all these 
books should be authorized, and congregations be 
left at liberty to add to these according to the 
taste of those who are responsible for their hymn- 
ody ? Each of these questions I feel bound to 
answer with an emphatic " No." 

I do not think we are ripe for the interference, 
to such an extent, with the free development of 
our hymnody. A comprehensive hymn-book must 
do one of two things : either it must contain 



2/0 HVMNOLOGY 

hymns the language of which would be so repel- 
lent to the views of many congregations that they 
would bitterly resent its being imposed upon them 
by authority ; or it must omit and alter to such 
an extent, that congregations which use existing 
books would be no less disturbed by the loss of 
teaching to which they are attached. We may 
deplore our present divisions ; we may hope and 
pray that they may be healed ; but for all that we 
ought to deprecate such an attempt at ignoring 
them as would severely test an obedience which 
is not too readily rendered even now, and would 
turn our very songs of praise into watchwords of 
theological strife. 

And as to the selection of certain hymns common 
to all, I doubt whether it is known how few in 
number they are. The great and excellent col- 
lections of hymns which the last few years have 
produced are separated from each other by strongly 
marked lines. Each covers its own ground, each 
has its own distinctive character. Thus, to refer 
again to the three books I have ventured to take 
as representatives, the revised Hymns Ancient and 
Modern contains 473 hymns, Church Hymns 592, 
the Hymnal Companion 400 ; yet out of this large 
number of 1465 hymns, there are but 129 common 
to all three books; and of these 129 the text 
occasionally differs in particulars which the editors 
of each would probably consider virtually affecting 
the value of the hymn. It might be convenient 
to represent these by consecutive numbers common 
to all three books ; but I cannot think that very 
much would be gained by authorizing so small 



HYMNS AND HYMN-SINGING 27 1 

a fragment of our immense hymnody. It has 
been urged indeed that an authorized hymn-book 
would benefit us by fixing the standard text 
of the hymns we use, especially if the rule were 
made of restoring every hymn to the exact form 
in which it was originally written. On any other 
principle, indeed, uniformity in the wording is 
under present circumstances as hopeless as unan- 
imity in the selection of hymns. And yet I own I 
can scarcely imagine an editor of a hymn-book 
who has carefully investigated the original text 
of hymns, seriously desiring to print every hymn 
exactly as it was written. Many of our old friends 
it would be absolutely painful to recognize in their 
resuscitated dress. How many of Faber's, for 
example, could be included as he wrote them in 
a National Church hymn-book ? Hard things are 
often said by living writers as to the mutilation of 
their hymns by compilers. May it be permitted 
for one whose own hymns have not escaped this 
unpleasant process to say a word on the other 
side ? That any one who- presumes to lay his 
offering of a song of praise upon the altar, not for 
his own, but for God's glory, cannot be too thankful 
for the devout, thoughtful, and scholarly criticism 
of those whose object it is to make his work less 
unworthy of its sacred purpose. A Church hymn- 
book is not a statue gallery erected that men may 
pass through it and admire the skill of each artist ; 
it is a temple for the worship of the Most High, 
in which every stone, rough-hewn or cunningly 
carved, is fitted to its place and subordinated to the 
one Spirit which informs and consecrates the whole. 



272 HYMNOLOGY 

Must we then be content to give up all prospect 
of a national Book of Common Praise to match 
our Book of Common Prayer ? If what I have 
said seems to discourage such an expectation, let 
us remember that Colonial Churches, or Noncon- 
formist bodies among ourselves, are too small and 
too homogeneous to be any true precedent for the 
great and complex Mother Church at home. The 
true precedent, I fear, would be that of modern 
Ultramontanism, which seeks to impose upon 
every country and diocese alike its own inflexible 
Roman Breviary, and in so doing is destroying 
a multitude of hymns and sequences far better 
than its own. 

Some appeal to authority, indeed, all will allow. 
There are frequent public occasions upon which 
many would welcome the authorization by our 
bishops of special hymns as well as of special 
psalms and lessons. There creep into churches 
now and then hymns which I venture to think 
ought to be formally prohibited. Above all, the 
change of a hymn-book is a matter so important 
and interesting to a congregation, so deeply affect- 
ing its life and unity, that it seems only reasonable 
to require that the sanction of the Bishop should 
be sought and obtained in all cases by the clergy- 
man who proposes to make the change. 

But the true hope for unity in our songs of 
praise lies, I am convinced, in a very different 
region from that of law and prescription. It is 
not pressure from without, but the impulse of new 
life from within, which alone can draw us nearer. 
Our hymnody must be the expression of that life, 



HYMNS AND HYMN-SINGING 273 

or it is unreal- and worthless. As in each con- 
gregation, in each soul, spiritual life becomes 
deeper and fuller, those hymns will be loved and 
valued, and those alone, which have in them that 
true inspiration. And those hymns, whether 
ancient or modern, whether English or foreign, 
whether Catholic or Protestant in their origin, will 
be welcomed and used ; not all at once, perhaps, 
not without hesitation and questioning ; but if 
slowly, yet surely and permanently. Look at our 
greatest hymns ; it is not authority and custom 
that have made them dear to every congregation ; 
it is not always literary excellence ; it is not even 
in every case theological accuracy ; it is a true 
correspondence with thoughts and aspirations that 
filled the heart of the Church. The whole life of 
the Patristic Church is in the Te Deum ; the whole 
awfulness and pathos of the Middle Ages is in the 
Dies Ircz ; the whole gospel of Evangelicalism is 
in Rock of Ages. And whenever a hymn arises 
which thus says what we want to say, it must make 
its way, and be heard, and live. When growth in 
spiritual life shall have brought with it unity of 
spirit, then our songs will be uttered with one 
accord. Who would substitute for that unity the 
uniformity of compulsion, of indifference, or of 
compromise ? 

My conclusion then is, that the future of our 
Church hymnody can be but the reflection of our 
own future. What our congregations are, what 
the Church is, that our hymns will be ; true and 
strong in faith and love, or false and weak, empty 
and lifeless. And that, therefore, the way to im- 

s 



2/4 HYMNOLOGY 

prove our hymnody, the way to guide it, the way 
to restrain it, is primarily, and above all, the 
discipline of our own hearts. This will give us 
self-restraint in our choice of hymns, it will save 
us from being carried away by mere fasnion and 
caprice ; from being slaves to the latest novelty, 
the lilting chorus, and the taking tune. But 
especially I would plead with my brother parish- 
priests, upon whose choice depends what their 
congregations week by week, and day by day, 
shall thus utter before God, to feel the greatness 
of their responsibility, and to grudge no time or 
pains in the selection of the words they put into 
the lips of their people. 

Let me urge them to remember how this work 
of selection, well done, may not merely form the 
taste, but elevate the religious tone of our con- 
gregations. Is it then a task to be hurried over in 
two minutes, while the choir are waiting to begin 
practice ? Is it a matter to be left to a young 
school-master, or a group of young ladies ? Is our 
chief care to be that the tunes are pretty and 
popular, and the words something that will "go 
with a swing " ? Are we thus to sanction the trash 
which, alas, will find its way even into good hymn- 
books : artificial bursts of enthusiasm sentimental 
complaints of weariness, or sorrow, or even longing 
for death 1 feeble and confused dilutions of the 

1 In ridicule of this species of cant, I have heard J. E. 
delight in telling the following story : Old Betty was a 
bed-ridden parishioner, who was for ever calling for death 
to release her from her infirmities and take her to glory. 
Whereupon her neighbours resolved to put her to the test, 



HYMNS AND HYMN-SINGING 2/5 

imagery of the Apocalypse exaggerations and 
affectations doing duty for precision in doctrine 
and sincerity in feeling? Ought we not rather 
to pray and to strive that the hymns we invite 
our congregations to sing may be scriptural, not 
merely in their phraseology, but in their inmost 
spirit, reverent not in form only but in meaning, 
definite with the certainty of faith, calm with the 
consciousness of God's presence, lowly with the 
reality of penitence, joyful with the sincerity of 
thankfulness ; that so, whether we prepare to enter 
into His gates with the thanksgiving of our glad 
processionals, or to speak good of His Name in 
the quiet hymn of the daily office, or to fall low on 
our knees before His footstool in the Litany of 
Penitence, we may be emboldened to say for 
ourselves and for our people, " Thou shalt open our 
lips, O Lord, and our mouth shall shew forth Thy 
praise." 



and as she was lying alone, one of them knocked three 
solemn knocks at the door of her cottage. " Who's there ? " 
with the answer" I am Death, come for old Betty to take 
her to glory." " Oh no, no, no ! " shrieked the old crone, 
" she isn't here, it is next door? H. H. 



HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS 

Paper read before the Church Congress held at Swansea, 
Wednesday evening, October 8, 1 879. 

I READ my paper this evening under a solemn 
feeling in consequence of the death of Miss Frances 
Havergal, who has passed away from us since she 
accepted the invitation of the Committee to prepare 
a paper on this subject for this Congress. The 
hymns of this lady will long live in the heart of 
the Church. 

When I was invited to read a paper before this 
Congress on Hymns and Hymn-books, my first 
question was, What branch of so wide a subject am 
I expected to handle ? and it was suggested to 
me in reply to give some sort of outline of what an 
authorized Church hymn-book, if ever we attain it, 
ought to be. 

Let me begin by reminding you of our materials. 
They are such as no age of the Church ever before 
possessed. First, for the home-grown hymns. 
Within the last few months there has passed away 
an old man, Daniel Sedgwick l by name, who kept a 

1 An interesting sketch of his life and work by William T. 
Brooke, who calls him " the father of English Hymnology," 
will be found in Julian's Dictionary of Hymnology, p. 1036. 
276 



HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS 277 

tiny shop in one of the darkest nooks of the city of 
London, ironically designated Sun Street. This 
good man lived, ate, drank, wrote, and, for aught 
I know, slept in the midst of piles on piles of 
hymn-books. His kindly welcome and amazing 
knowledge were at the service of any one who was 
interested enough in the study to explore his strange 
domain. He could reckon up at least 1400 authors 
who within the last 1 50 years had written volumes 
of English hymns, all of whom he has duly 
catalogued. We may divide these roughly into 
four great schools, three of them existing side by 
side, each of them represented by existing books, 
and all four happily blended, though in differing 
proportions, in our best hymn-books the early 
Nonconformist, from Watts and Doddridge to 
Conder, Kelly, and Montgomery ; the Wesleyan, 
of which modern revival hymns are an offshoot ; 
the Calvinistic-Evangelical ; and the Anglican 
and Anglo-Catholic of our own time. Each 
of these four schools must necessarily be repre- 
sented in any hymn-book which is to be a true 
help to the devotions of the whole English 
Church. But we have also, and we need also, 
hymns from other sources. I am not going to 
insult the understanding of my hearers by assum- 
ing that any one here entertains the strange notion 
that while the Collects we have translated from the 
ancient service-books are an inestimable treasure 
of devotion, the hymns which lie beside them in 
the same quarry are unfit for our use. What I 
claim for Latin hymns in general is what I claim 
for Latin prayers : that many are of exceeding 



278 HYMNOLOGY 

value ; that the oldest are generally the best ; that 
the Church of England may well deal with them as 
she dealt . with the Collects transferring many 
whole, leaving a certain number alone, boldly 
altering and adapting others to suit her own 
requirements. An admirable example of the last 
mode of treatment is the Bishop of Ely's translation 
of Adoro Te Devote, if only the text be left as the 
Bishop wrote it ; retaining as it does the spirit of 
humble and believing reverence which pervades 
the hymn, without any phrases which might clash 
with our authorized definitions of doctrine. Pre- 
mising this, I may observe that now all the great 
Latin hymns have been repeatedly translated, some 
of them by successive revisions, as well as it is 
possible to render them. Many have taken root 
among us ; some are as familiar as their kindred 
Collects, and are sung by all denominations in 
England and Scotland just as heartily and uncon- 
sciously as if they were home-born. We may 
almost say the same of the few imitations of Greek 
hymns which Dr. Neale and others have given us. 
Few would imagine Mr. Chatfield's touching hymn, 
" Lord Jesus, think on me," to be the work of the 
fifth-century African squire-bishop, 1 of whom 
Charles Kingsley has given us so graphic a portrait 
in Hypatia. The rich store of German hymnody 
has been opened to us mainly by one who has 
been taken to her rest since the last Congress, 
Catherine Winkworth. But few of these hymns 
are fitted for congregational use ; yet these few are 
of great and permanent value. I think, too, that 
1 Synesius, Bishop of Ptolema'is : he died in 430. H. H. 



HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS 279 

we may gain something from the hymns of Pro- 
testant France ; and to one who may be surprised 
at this, I would recommend the study of the 
beautiful little hymnal published by the Society 
for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge for use 
in the Channel Islands. Nor must we forget that 
the Church Congress is welcomed this week among 
fellow-countrymen who have a hymnody of their 
own, dating further back than ours. I, as a Saxon 
stranger, know of the hymns of Rhys Prichard only 
through wretched translations from which all the 
poetry has evaporated ; yet even so I can well 
understand how the " Welshman's Candle " of the 
early seventeenth century, with its manly piety, its 
practical good sense, and its firm hold upon the 
great truths of our faith, expressed in the plainest 
and homeliest language, must have been a true 
light from God to many and many a lonely home. 
And our kind hosts have shown us this week how 
they love, and how they can sing, the hymnody of 
William Williams, represented in our hymnals, I 
believe, only by the well-known hymn, " Guide me, 
O Thou Great Jehovah." 

I pass on to consider the far more difficult 
question, how to use our materials ? 

We are all agreed that a Book of Common Praise 
ought to follow the lines of our Book of Common 
Prayer, and yet, in some sense, to fill up and 
supplement the Prayer-book. The question is, In 
what sense ? Not, surely, by any inconsistency or 
even development of doctrine. Whatever the 
limits of comprehension may be as regards indi- 
viduals, or even as regards particular congregations, 



280 IIYMNOLOGY 

a book which shall appear as an addition to the 
existing formularies of the Church of England 
must not differ from these any more widely than 
they differ from one another. But if it be the case 
that the different elements of which our Prayer-book 
consists bring out different sides of the same truth, 
and set forth the faith from varying points of view, 
then this amount of comprehensiveness we may 
fairly claim for an authorized hymn-book. To 
secure this, it must not be the work of one school, 
or of a very small body of divines. No existing 
book ought to become the authorized book. I am 
glad to support this view by the opinion of one 
whose loss we are still lamenting, who presided 
over the compilation of our most popular and 
widely-used hymn-book. The late Sir Henry 
Baker, heartily as he rejoiced in the wonderful 
success of Hymns Ancient and Modern, always 
expressed his conviction that it could never become 
more than one of two or three hymnals which 
should ultimately divide our congregations among 
them. He felt that it was the product but of one 
school in the Church of England, though a school 
into which he himself infused a large spirit of 
comprehensiveness. 

We must further remember, that if ever the day 
comes that our Church possesses an authorized 
hymn-book, it will be quite as much used out of 
church as in it ; it will grow to be used in the 
family and in private devotion, by the poor, the 
sick, the aged, the lonely, the mourner, just as 
much as the Prayer-book, or even more. It is vain, 
then, to fancy we can keep out private and what 



HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS 28 1 

are called subjective hymns. Some such, wisely 
selected, there must be ; as subjective as the 42nd 
Psalm, or the 5ist, or the losrd. There are those 
who gravely tell us that hymns in the singular 
number are unfit for public worship, and so would 
shut out " Rock of Ages " and " Sun of my soul " 
why not also the "Miserere" and the . " Nunc 
Dimittis " ? 

Again, when an authorized selection is made, 
something must still be left to individual liberty. 
I have on a former occasion given my reasons for 
believing that the number of hymns which would 
be accepted freely by all congregations alike is 
comparatively small judging from our most 
popular hymn-books, not more than about 150. 
These would be placed in a class by themselves. 
Others might be allowed by the Ordinary, at least 
tacitly, if not formally ; and perhaps from time to 
time additions made to the hymns authorized ; for 
it would indeed be a grievous mistake to apply an 
arbitrary rule of finality to the only part of our 
public worship which retains the elasticity which 
our changing circumstances demand. 

It is possible, then, to conceive of a hymn-book 
compiled by some Committee or Commission such 
as might command general confidence ; receiving 
the recommendations of the Bishops, and perhaps, 
after the precedent of the New Version of Psalms, 
that of Her Majesty in Council ; and so, without 
the dangerous course of an amended Act of 
Uniformity, making its way by degrees into our 
congregations. Were this wisely done, we should 
not all at once, but we may hope gradually, lose 



282 HYMNOLOGY 

many foolish, unsound, and exaggerated hymns, 
which now pass muster in better company than 
they deserve, often for the sake of their popular 
tunes. We should lose the abominable habit of 
ticketing clergy and churches by the hymn-book 
they use, and rinding party catch-words in the very 
language of our praise. We should feel a little 
more formal, a little less free ; but we should be 
drawn into closer fellowship with one another, and 
find ourselves relieved from some of the hindrances 
to our fellowship with God. But if I am asked 
whether these results are likely to be attained, I see 
but little to encourage me in predicting them. An 
authorized hymn-book means willing submission to 
authority, cheerful toleration of divergencies. These 
are not exactly our strong points just now. And 
there is one other consideration, which I cannot do 
more than indicate. I very much doubt whether 
the tone of our popular devotion, as indicated by 
the style not merely of hymns, but of other 
devotional manuals, at present most in demand, is 
one which it would be wise to stereotype in an 
authorized hymnals A Bishop of our own Church 
recently remarked in addressing some clergy, that 
it had occurred to him to spend a whole Sunday 
in a large and influential London church. In that 
congregation during the day he had heard eleven 
hymns sung ; but in only one verse of the whole 
eleven hymns was there any allusion to God the 
Father, and in that verse He was glorified not as 
the Reconciled Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
but merely as the Maker of this world, and the 
Giver of its good things. Not till we return to a 



HYMNS AND HYMN-BOOKS 283 

higher and more really Catholic ideal of worship 
can we afford to bind our devotion by any closer 
bond of authority ; and not till the God of patience 
and consolation grants us to be more like-minded 
one towards another, can we hope with one mind 
and one mouth to glorify Him. 



AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 



FRAGMENT OF A LETTER TO 



SIR, 

My answer to the question, When are we 
to have an Authorized Hymnal, is a very simple 
one not during the existing state of things in the 
Church of England, I most earnestly trust. 

The advantages of one general hymn-book are 
obvious 

I. Convenience to travellers. 2. Cheapness. 
3. Exclusion of undesirable hymns. 4. The appear- 
ance of unity, with hope of approximation to the 
reality. 

Besides this, many people are influenced by the 
desire to be like " the nations around." Other 
Churches and denominations have their one hymn- 
book, why not we ? 

Thirty years ago there was a good deal to be 
said for convenience and cheapness, for that was 
the age of local " selections," sold at a high price, 
and generally hard for a chance visitor to procure. 
But now that three or four large and carefully com- 
piled books have really all but starved out the 
multitude of inferior ones, there is very little 
difficulty about rinding a hymn if one does worship 
284 



AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 285 

in a strange church ; especially now that our people 
are sufficiently well-trained in the ethics of worship, 
to wish to see a stranger supplied with a book and 
using it. 

Again, since each of your correspondent's four 
typical books can be had for a penny, not much 
need be said about the expensiveness of a variety 
of hymn-books. If our clergy would adopt the 
practice in use in such churches as Nantwich, 
where the clergy mean that everybody shall sing, 
and instead of giving out " Hymn 300," give out 
the first line, afterwards stating the number, then 
even strangers with books of their own would (with 
few exceptions) be able to find the hymn the 
congregation is about to sing. 1 

But I should like those who want an authorized 
hymn-book to ask themselves a few questions as to 
what it is they desire. Authorized by whom ? By 
a joint Committee of both Houses of Convocation 
say some. Well, that committee could draw up a 
book, but the authorization must come either from 
the State, which is neither possible nor desirable, 
and which would provoke tremendous resistance ; 
or from the Bishops, which could only mean that 
the Bishop of each diocese, if he thought fit, could 
recommend the book to his clergy : would this 
avail ? Has it been successful in the one diocese in 
which it has been tried with every possible advan- 
tage, and an excellent collection, the diocese of 
Sarum ? Would people who now use the Hymnal 

1 Mr. Ellerton was strongly opposed to the recent practice 
of giving out the Scripture text prefixed to a hymn, instead of 
the first line. H. H. 



286 HYMNOLOGY 

Companion, or Hymns Ancient and Modern, and like 
the book they use, give it up because the Bishop 
suggested a new one ? It needs no deep knowledge 
of human nature of clerical nature choir nature 
church-going-ladies' nature, to answer such a 
question. 

But the Americans have done it ? Yes, when 
the American Church was a very small and 
homogeneous body. Now they have enlarged their 
book, and picked out all our best tunes from 
H. A. M. and elsewhere, having no law of copy- 
right to deter them ; yet still I doubt whether 
their own very dull hymn-book will long satisfy 
the young American Church. So with the Presby- 
terian Churches, the Wesleyans, Congregationalists, 
etc. All these are bodies much more uniform in 
views, much less comprehensive than the Church 
of England. We are so large a body, compounded 
of so many elements, that we must have more 
freedom than they. Surely they are ill readers of 
the signs of the times who wish to destroy the last 
remnant of elasticity in our Church Services for the 
sake of uniformity. We are complaining of the 
want of adaptability in our services ; we are asking 
for additional offices, for greater freedom in the 
selection of forms of prayer. And yet this is the 
moment that people choose for asking us to put a 
fresh yoke on our necks, and submit to be restricted 
to a new measure of centralization ! And this 
while our hymnody is daily growing, and we are all 
recognizing the need of all the freedom we can get 
in employing its treasures for the various uses to 
which our great task calls us. 






AN AUTHORIZED HYMNAL 287 

And there is a fallacy which I must notice in 
the argument that so many hymns are used by all 
congregations in common, as to make it easy to 
authorize them all. People forget the variations of 
the text, and the adaptations of doctrinal statements 
to the prevailing colour of the hymn-book. The 
Dissenters sing Aquinas's hymns, but not -what 
Aquinas himself wrote. Unitarians sing a great 
many Evangelical hymns ; but invocations to Christ 
are omitted. But people say, Why not revert to 
the original text ? I reply, Because you cannot. 
Those who use the Hymnal Companion, for instance, 
cannot sing Faber's hymns as Faber wrote them ; 
but Mr. Bickersteth has made a very good and 
legitimate selection from them. People who talk 
loosely about the evil of altering hymns are for the 
most part people who do not know how the original 
text reads. 

I long for unity in worship as much as any one ; 
but I do not think unity can be forced on us from 
without. The . 



MODERN THEOLOGY AS SHOWN BY 
MODERN HYMNODY 

I HAVE been asked to put down a few thoughts 
on a subject which is worth the study of Church 
people, especially of all who are interested in the 
question of the future relations of the English 
Church with the religious bodies which surround 
her. 

Mr. Bayne, himself a Nonconformist, called 
attention some three years ago, in an able paper in 
the Contemporary Review^ to the phenomenon of the 
widespread existence of a religious sentiment in 
England which is wholly inorganic entirely vague 
and loose, not adhering to any form whatever of 
doctrine, government, discipline, or method, in 
worship and fellowship. Such a state of things 
obviously cannot be measured by any of the 
ordinary standards of doctrine or of discipline it 
owns none. But there is one form in which re- 
ligious sentiment impresses itself and that of 
course is hymnody. Moreover, it may be said of 
nearly every religious body in the country, that it 
has been more or less affected by the Catholic 
revival in the English Church so far at least as to 
be thrown into a state of fermentation and con- 
288 



MODERN THEOLOGY 289 

troversy. Still more deeply have the Nonconform- 
ist bodies been leavened by the Liberal or Free- 
thought movement, so that their divergence from 
their old standards is in many cases avowed, in 
many more not the less real for being unavovved. 

Now if we want to study and to gauge this state 
of things, we have a convenient test ready to our 
hands in modern Nonconformist Hymnody. We 
all know what is the case among ourselves. Our 
Hymnody is the only region in which our forms of 
prayer and praise are elastic enough to reflect the 
changes in the theology of the Church, or rather in 
the grasp which the Church of our day has upon 
her fixed standards of faith. 

Thus, early in the century, the adhesion of the 
High Churchmen of that period to Metrical Psalms 
represented faithfully their prudent, narrow, Angli- 
can conservatism ; the Evangelical hymn-books, 
almost identical with those of Dissenters, show us 
that spiritual energy and life was almost confined 
to that section of the English Church which was 
most nearly allied to Calvinistic Nonconformity. 
Again, the rise of the Catholic movement has been 
signalized by those distinct developments of Church 
Hymnody. At first it was patristic and scholarly ; 
that was the age of translations of Ambrosian 
Hymns, and of such Gallican ones as are least 
Roman in character of Mant, and Chandler, and 
Isaac Williams. Then rose the idea of the un- 
broken continuity of our own rites with the Pre- 
Reformation period in English and the Hymnal 
Noted, and all the other translations of the Sarum 
Breviary hymns, embodied this idea. We were to 

T 



2QO HYMNOLOGY 

have in every office its own prescribed hymn, 
unchangeable, and set to its own traditional melody, 
however severe and unlovely. These Purists 
passed away. The younger generation of Catholics 
began to acknowledge the beauty and goodness of 
many of the popular Evangelical hymns ; and 
meanwhile such leaders of the secession to Rome 
as Faber and Caswall wrote fresh hymns avowedly 
to catch people's taste, which were readily almost 
too greedily picked up by their old friends in the 
Church they had deserted. This state of things is 
well represented by the first edition of H. A. M. 
(1861), and its enormous popularity shows 'how 
well-timed the concession was. But H. A. M. 
itself called into being a school of English hymn- 
writers ; and its second form has shown us that the 
English Church, while ready to borrow freely good 
hymns of sound theology from all sources, ancient, 
mediaeval, modern, foreign and English, Catholic 
and Protestant, has yet abundant spiritual life of 
its own, and is now capable to a large extent of 
meeting from within its own resources the devotional 
aspirations of its children. Our Dissenting friends 
meanwhile have by no means stood still ; and it is 
important to notice the changes in the aspect of 
their hymnody, because while so large a minority 
of the population are still under Nonconformist 
influence, it must ever be of the deepest interest to 
English theologians to inquire how they are taught 
to worship God and to think of God. 

A few words must be said as to the sources of 
Nonconformist hymnody. We all know it began 
with Dr. Watts. Till his time the meeting-houses 



MODERN THEOLOGY 2QI 

and the churches alike sang metrical Psalms, with 
of course a few exceptions, which I need not 
enumerate. Watts, Doddridge, Browne, Beddome, 
etc., form the first school of Dissenting hymnodists. 
Watts was fond of Latin sacred poetry, and I often 
think he must have been familiar with Santeiiil 
and Coffin. His school are especially the singers 
of the Atonement. His Calvinism is of a very 
faint and mild form. His theory of sacramental 
grace is a good deal like Antoine Horneck a sort 
of modified " Virtualism," by no means so pro- 
nounced as Wesley's, but readily lending itself to 
Anglican theology ; hence Doddridge's " My God, 
and is Thy table spread," has never been disused 
among us, though we have revived so much Catholic 
teaching about Holy Communion. Of course the 
level of poetry in this school is wretchedly low ; 
otherwise doubtless more of their hymns would 
have been revived, for its theology, ever chiefly by 
defect, except indeed upon the one most important 
point one entire misconception of the Fatherhood 
of God, and its work in man's redemption. Yet 
another point I would notice. Hymns of direct 
adoration and worship, almost wholly wanting in 
late Nonconformist hymnody, are here conspicuous. 
In the last New Congregational and Baptist books, 
where hymns of adoration are separated from the 
rest, and classified by themselves, it will be found 
that such as are not Primitive Roman or Anglican 
are almost wholly taken from the school of Watts. 
This school is the parent of the Congregational 
and Baptist hymn-books with an exception to be 
presently noticed. Josiah Conder, the great Con- 



292 HYMNOLOGY 

gregational hymn-writer of the first half of this 
century, who wrote the Eucharistic hymn, " Bread 
of Heaven, on Thee we feed," compiled the present 
Congregational Hymn-Book, and did not depart 
from Watts's traditional theory ; he only modified 
and softened it down. Modern Congregationalism, 
however, is rapidly dropping, under Broad Church 
influence, all that was left of Calvinism to Watts, 
and the revision of the Congregational Hymn-Book 
is a most curiously eclectic production. Almost any 
hymn which has become popular among us is 
welcomed, in the hope, of course, of rivalling the 
hymnodic movement among ourselves ; and ap- 
parently all sense of incongruity of doctrine is lost, 
though hymns are freely mutilated when expressions 
too plain-spoken occur. Thus Faber's " Dear 
Angel, ever at my side," is altered to apply to our 
Blessed Lord, apparently without a notion of the 
wild heresy which is taught by such a use of it. 
Dr. Allen has even adopted St. Thomas Aquinas's 
Penge lingua, and that with scarcely any altera- 
tion, apparently without any conception of that 
which it was meant to set forth. 

The new Baptist Hymnal has only just reached 
me. It is the production of the more Liberal 
Baptists, and though less wildly selected than the 
Congregational, it is, so far as I have had time to 
look into it, open to the same remarks. 

The second great school in historical order the 
first by far in importance is the Wesleyan. Much 
depends on our understanding its history. John 
Wesley was all his life long very ready to take up 
new ideas, and his will largely influenced his con- 



MODERN THEOLOGY 293 

victions. The groundwork of his theology was the 
decent, formal, narrow Anglicanism of the Restora- 
tion ; but he was never thoroughly trained in 
theology, though an eager devourer of theological 
books. Probably his mother's influence gave a 
strong prominence to the emotional in his religion, 
which was increased by his acquaintance, through 
Law, with seventeenth century Protestant mysticism. 
Then he fell very readily under Moravian influence, 
and gradually shaped for himself his especial 
theories of Conversion and Assurance. All this was 
reflected in his brother's hymnody for Charles was 
led on by John to a great extent, until John finally 
threw off his family Anglicanism in a fit of self-will 
and despondency ; but this Charles never approved, 
and showed on his death-bed his disapprobation. 

Wesleyans of the present day are often disposed 
to depreciate the hymns which rebuke most strongly 
their departure from their founder's principles, by 
drawing a line at some imaginary point at which 
he changed his views. But every hymn in the 
Wesleyan book I may say every hymn in the 
thirteen volumes of their works was written sub- 
sequently to the two dates which John and Charles 
Wesley respectively claimed as those of their 
conversion ; and the only important modification 
which they ever made in the theology of their 
hymns was in the striking out all reference to 
human perfectibility on earth ; a theory which 
Wesley at one time had adopted, and which some 
of his followers, especially in America, have taken 
up, but which he afterwards emphatically repudiated 
and strongly condemned. 



294 HYMNOLOGV 

The famous little book of Hymns on the LorcPs 
Supper is chiefly a recast in verse of portions of a 
treatise by Dr. Brevint, a French Protestant, but a 
man who held very strongly the theory of a 
Memorial Sacrifice, coupled with what has since 
been called the " Virtual " Presence ; and thus it 
accords very well with the views in which doubt- 
less the Wesleys had been trained from childhood. 
These views the brothers never repudiated, nor is 
there any sign of their having modified them. In 
the compilation from their hymns made by John 
Wesley, which till last year was the standard 
Wesleyan hymn-book in England, he inserted 
several of them, and doubtless would have inserted 
more, but that he was so strongly averse to his 
preachers assuming the priestly office ; so that he 
leaves out most of those hymns which absolutely 
imply a present celebration. 

I have not had an opportunity as yet of seeing 
the present Wesleyan book, just published ; but it 
has not, I believe, parted with any of the Com- 
munion Hymns which Wesley himself inserted in 
the older book. Its existence is, however, a sig- 
nificant token that the Wesleyans, ever so conserv- 
ative of their Founder's views, are, like all other 
Nonconformist bodies now, in a state of flux, and 
likely to undergo yet further changes. 

The special feature of real Wesleyanism was 
that it was a " Revival." And it has been the 
type which has been again and again followed in 
subsequent attempts made by other religious bodies 
to influence large masses of men through their 
emotions by systematic and organized efforts. 



MODERN THEOLOGY 295 

A " Mission " in an English parish now, though 
its form is of course borrowed from Rome, has 
certain elements in it which are undoubtedly of 
Wesleyan origin ; and it may almost be said that 
the Roman and the Wesleyan type prevail pretty 
much in proportion to the dogmatic standard of 
the parish priest, or of the Missioner whom he has 
invited to conduct the Mission. Outside of the 
English Church the Wesleyan type in England 
and America is still the normal one. A certain 
class of Wesleyan hymns have therefore of late 
been brought into very prominent use ; and these 
have, so to speak, created a whole literature of 
Revival Hymns, which form a curious index to the 
theology of large masses of earnest and well-mean- 
ing people among us. With them conversion is 
everything about what follows they have really 
nothing to say. Almost inevitably, therefore, their 
hymnody has a taint of Antinomian teaching; or 
perhaps I should say lends itself readily to 
Antinomian theories of Christian sanctification. 
This is the great danger before so much of that 
loose and inorganic religious sentiment which is 
perpetually being stirred up by revival preaching, 
and the so-called " Evangelistic " services, which 
are so universal and so popular now. Another 
danger, not less great and deadly, is visible in the 
fact that not merely does all Church teaching, all 
Sacramental teaching, absolutely disappear, but 
the Sacraments themselves pass out of sight ; grace 
itself is utterly misunderstood, the nature of our 
union with our Lord, the whole work of God the 
Holy Ghost utterly misconceived ; not only is the 



296 HYMNOLOGY 

individual everything, but the consciousness of the 
individual is everything. No one can take up a 
modern revival hymn-book without seeing what I 
mean. I lately saw the MS. of a new one prepared 
by professing Church people for the use of a con- 
gregation gathered from heathenism under a Bishop 
of our own Church, and ministered to by an Arch- 
deacon. In this book all Church services are 
entirely ignored even Christmas and Easter, the 
Sacraments, are not once mentioned, the work of 
the Holy Spirit is reduced to making people certain 
that they are the objects of the love of Christ; 
even penitence is very slightly and almost apolo- 
getically dealt with. The only people who can 
gain by such teaching are of course the Plymouth 
Brethren and their congeners ; and of course 
Revivalism is largely recruiting their ranks. 

The one definite theological standing-ground 
left for English Dissent is the Calvinistic. The 
great Calvinist theory which saturated Puritan 
England and Scotland, which slept through three- 
fourths of a century, till it blazed out afresh in 
George Whitfield and the early Evangelicals of our 
Church, has now entirely died out of the Church of 
England, and from nearly all the existing Dissent- 
ing bodies save one. Among the Baptists Calvinism 
retains its hold mainly through the wonderful 
energy and ability of one man, Mr. Spurgeon. 
His hymn-book, Our Hymn-Book, is the confession 
of faith of a strong, clear, definite Calvinism ; but 
a Calvinism adapted to modern controversies, and 
opposing a well-defined system of belief to the 
vague and gelatinous hesitancies of modern Pro- 



MODERN THEOLOGY 297 

testant Nonconformity ; let me add, too, opposing 
to our system a system more logically complete in 
its very narrowness, and in many ways skilfully 
adapted to the hard, practical, self-asserting temper 
of the English middle class. How long will it 
survive him is a different question. But some 
form of Christian Stoicism will doubtless always 
be a factor in the theology of the northern and 
western nations. 

I only draw one moral from these rough notes. 
It is this. The study of Nonconformist hymn- 
books does not encourage me in any hopes of what 
is sometimes called Home Reunion. A solid body 
may absorb a fluid, or may be dissolved in a fluid, 
but there is no other way of uniting them. 
Catholic theology is solid Protestant theology in 
England at last is becoming more and more fluid, 
not to say gaseous. Organic union, if we thought 
it right, seems to me simply impossible. If Non- 
conformists unite with us, it can be but by one 
way by individual absorption, by conversion to 
the full Catholic faith. 



FAVOURITE HYMNS 

AND 

THEIR AUTHORS 



THE following series of articles on modern Hymn- 
writers was written in the autumn of 1892, at the re- 
quest of Canon Erskine Clarke for the Parish Magazine. 
They afterwards re-appeared in the Church Monthly, and 
it is by the kind permission of Canon Clarke and of Mr. 
Frederick Sherlock, the Editor of the latter periodical, 
that they are inserted here. For the experienced hymn- 
ologist they may have but little value, as they are 
entirely elementary and popular, being merely designed 
to interest the general reader in those sacred poets to 
whom we owe some of our most favourite hymns. 

The portraits which were engraved for the above-named 
Magazines are also reproduced by the kind permission 
of the above-named Editors. 

The references throughout have been verified, and in 
many places corrected, on the authority of Dr. Julian's 
Dictionary of Hymnology. 



JOHN COSIN AND THOMAS KEN 

IT is not too much to say that almost all who 
are attached to the services and the work of our 
Church take interest in her hymns. Not that by 
this pronoun I mean to claim for the English 
Church more than is her due. Very many of our 
best-loved hymns have been adopted into our 
books from those of other denominations. Non- 
conformists were before Church people in hymn- 
singing, mainly because our forefathers stuck 
loyally for many a long year to the " Old Version " 
or " New Version " of the Psalms. These were 
" allowed " by Royal authority ; and I am old 
enough to remember when it was scarcely thought 
" orthodox " to sing anything else in church. The 
fact is, Psalms in metre are a relic of the Reform- 
ation, and of that particular school of reformers 
of which John Calvin was the master spirit, and 
which largely coloured the thoughts of the English 
Protestants of the sixteenth century. Their very 
reverence for the letter of the Bible made them 
think it hardly excusable to use in worship what 
they regarded as uninspired forms. Men might 
pray extempore, but they must sing Holy Scripture. 
It was not till the eighteenth century that hymn- 
301 



302 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

books and hymn-singing in worship began in 
England. It was not till within the memory of 
some now living that they became really general 
in the Church of England. And now, it has been 
calculated by Mr. Julian, the compiler of the great 
Dictionary of English Hyninology, which has been 
many years in preparation, that there were some 
years ago no fewer than seventeen thousand English 
hymns in use somewhere. Yet out of these the really 
good hymns will always be but few. Different 
experiments have been tried to discover which of 
our hymns are the best loved and the most fre- 
quently used. In giving a few sketches of the 
writers of our best-known hymns, I cannot of course 
restrict myself to writers of our own Church ; yet 
I do not believe that there is one in my brief list 
whose hymns are not now loved and welcomed 
among all our congregations. 

The first two names on my list, however, are the 
names of English Bishops, men who wrought and 
suffered in defence of the Church of their baptism 
against enemies from opposite quarters. The first 
hymn I shall mention is one of the four hymns 
other than Scriptural, authorised for use, as distin- 
guished from being merely permitted, in the Book 
of Common Prayer. These are the Te Deum, the 
Gloria in Excelsis, the Media vita (' In the midst 
of life we are in death,' said or sung in the Burial 
Service), and the Veni Creator. The first three 
are what we should call prose hymns, or canticles ; 
the Veni Creator is, in the Latin, in what we 
call " long metre," only not in rhyme. All four 
hymns are from the Latin, but the Gloria in 



JOHN COSIN 303 

Excelsis and part of the Te Deum were originally 
in Greek. 

If you look at the Ordination Service you will 
see there are two versions of the hymn called 
Veni Creator one in common metre, another, 
much shorter, in long metre, ' Come, Holy Ghost, 
our souls inspire,' which is the one we know best, 
and use most frequently. This was put into our 
Prayer-book in the year 1662, and its writer, or 
rather translator, was John Cosin, at that time 
Bishop of Durham. 

John Cosin was born in I594 1 at Norwich, where 
his father was in business. He was brought up at 
Caius College, Cambridge, and distinguished him- 
self by his learning. The higher clergy of the 
Church of England in the time of James I. and 
Charles I. were many of them great and ripe 
scholars, so much so that they were sometimes 
said to be " the wonder of the world " for learning. 
Among these John Cosin took a high place. 
When the Puritan controversy broke out he was 
Archdeacon of the East Riding ; Charles I. made 
him Dean of Peterborough. In the year 1627 he 
compiled a very simple and beautiful book of 
prayers for his Yorkshire flock, with devotions for 
the hours of nine, twelve, and three such as were 
in common use before the Reformation, and in 
a reformed shape reprinted by order of both 
Henry VIII. and Elizabeth. But this innocent 
book gave great offence to the Puritans, who were 
never tired of making grim jokes about Cozen's 
Cozening Devotions, as they called it. For this 
i ?i S9 6(H.H.). 



304 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS . 

book John Cosin translated the Veni Creator, not 
intending it to be sung in Church, but said privately 
every morning at nine o'clock, in commemoration 
of the hour when God the Holy Ghost came down 
upon the Church. Poor Cosin, however, suffered 
from his Puritan foes. When the monarchy was 
suppressed he lost all his preferments, and had 
to live abroad, acting as chaplain to the English 
members of Queen Henrietta Maria's household in 
Paris. At the Restoration he came back again, 
was made first Dean, and then Bishop of Durham, 
and died in 1672, at the age of seventy-eight. He 
was one of the revisers of the Prayer-book in 
1661-2, and thus it came to pass that his version 
of the Veni Creator was inserted in the Ordination 
Service a small compensation to the good old man 
for the cruel attacks to which he had been subject. 

The Veni Creator itself dates back at least to 
the ninth century. By some it is ascribed to the 
Emperor Charlemagne, which is scarcely possible ; 
by others to one of his sons. It has been used at 
ordinations all over Europe for nearly nine hundred 
years. Cosin's version, though the best known, is 
not the most accurate, and is slightly abridged. 
The older one, which dates back to Archbishop 
Cranmer's time, has the opposite fault of being 
unnecessarily lengthened. There is a good version 
in Hymns A. & M., No. 347, and another by Bishop 
Bickersteth in the Hymnal Companion (1890), No. 
252, besides various others. But none of these 
come near to Cosin's in majestic simplicity of 
devotion. 

Far better known even than the Veni Creator, 



THOMAS KEN 305 

known wherever the English tongue is spoken, are 
the Morning and Evening hymns of Thomas Ken 
" the Morning and Evening hymns," as we love to 
call them. These are not translations, but of home 
growth ; and they keep green the memory of one 




Bishop Cosin. 

of the holiest and truest sons of the Church of 
England. Thomas Ken was born about forty years 
later than Cosin probably in 1637, but the date 
is uncertain at Berkhampstead, in Hertfordshire ; 
but his home was in London, where his father was 
an attorney. He lost his mother when four years 

u 



306 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

old, and his father when he was fourteen. But his 
excellent eldest sister, Anne, was more than a mother 
to him, and his boyhood, after he lost his parents, 
was spent in her married home, under the care of 
herself and her good husband, Izaak Walton, well 
known for his Compleat Angler, and his volume of 
" Lives " of several of the great Churchmen of the 
time. " Meek Walton," as the Christian Year well 
calls him, fished in the Lea and sold hosiery in 
Fleet Street during the troubled years of the 
conflict between King and Parliament, and his 
shop became a kind of house of call for many of 
the good Churchmen of the day, whose acquaintance 
was useful in after life to the boy Ken. In due 
time Ken entered at Winchester, where his name 
is still shown, carved schoolboy-fashion in the 
stonework of the cloisters of the venerable College. 
From Winchester he passed to Oxford first to 
Hart Hall (now Hertford College) and then to 
New College. Oxford was at that time under 
Puritan rule ; but though Ken always did justice 
to the religiousness of some of the devouter 
Puritans, he never fell in with their views. By the 
time of the Restoration he was already well known 
as a scholar, and yet more as a man of earnest 
piety. For two happy, peaceful years he lived as 
Rector of Little Easton, in Essex, and chaplain to 
Lord Maynard and his saintly wife. Then honours 
which he did not seek came upon him. He first 
became Chaplain to the Bishop of Winchester, 
Prebendary of the Cathedral, and Fellow of the 
College his own old school. For love of that 
school he published, in 1674, his beautiful Manual 



THOMAS KEN 3<D/ 

of Prayers for the use of Winchester scholars. It 
is believed that he had already written the " Three 
Hymns," for Morning, Evening, Midnight, but they 
were not added to the Manual till 1695. They 
were altered (perhaps more than once) by Ken 




Bishop Ken. 

himself before his death ; and this accounts for the 
different readings (such as " All praise " for "Glory ") 
which appear in different books. For, audaciously 
as hymns are altered, Ken's have been generally 
respected, though of course much shortened. It 
need scarcely be said that they were not originally 



308 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

meant for singing in church, but to be learnt and 
repeated by the Winchester boys at their bedsides. 
Tallis's well-known tune, which we sing to ' Glory 
to Thee,' is much older than Ken's time. Thomas 
Tallis was organist to Elizabeth's Chapel Royal, 
and died in 1585. 

There is no space to tell at any length the story 
of Ken's eventful life. It was his lot to " stand 
before kings," and to prove his faithfulness through 
evil report and good report. He was chaplain to 
Princess Mary at the Hague, and was never liked 
by her husband, afterwards William III., whose 
anger he incurred by plain speaking about the 
immorality of his Court. Charles II. he treated no 
less faithfully ; and Charles did not resent his 
honesty, but made him Bishop of Bath and Wells 
in 1685. He did not long enjoy that perilous 
honour. He was one of the famous Seven Bishops 
who resisted James II.'s Romanizing schemes in 
1688, and were sent to the Tower. But he could 
not take the oath to William after he had taken it 
to James, and in April, 1691, he was driven from 
his See. He was thenceforward homeless, but God 
raised up friends for him, and though often in great 
poverty, yet his needs were always supplied. He 
spent much of his time at Longleat, a splendid 
house in Wiltshire, the seat of Lord Weymouth ; 
and here, after much suffering, he closed his holy 
life, March 19, 1711. His tomb, with its iron 
crosier, is still to be seen. He was laid to rest at 
sunrise on March 21, carried to his grave by 
"twelve poor men." 






ISAAC WATTS AND PHILIP 
DODDRIDGE 

IT is curious that the Puritan tradition of singing 
metrical psalms and nothing else in public worship 
should have been first broken through by one who 
was himself a descendant, both in blood and in 
spirit, of the Puritans. Various hymn-writers arose 
during the seventeenth century, some of whose 
hymns have been lately revived among us as 
John Mason, Samuel Grossman, and, far greater 
than both, Richard Baxter. Others, once esteemed, 
are now forgotten. George Wither had even ob- 
tained James I.'s permission to have his hymns 
printed for fifty years at the end of the Prayer- 
book ; but not more than one or two of his are 
now found in any hymn-books. The real pioneer 
of modern English hymn-singing was Isaac Watts. 
This good man's grandfather was a sturdy Inde- 
pendent of the Cromwellian age. Some say that 
he had been one of Oliver's troopers, but it is 
known that he sailed with Blake, and perished at 
sea. His son fell upon the times which followed 
the Restoration, when hard measure was dealt out 
to Nonconformists. " He suffered for Noncon- 
formity " that is, he was more than once im- 
309 



310 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

prisoned. In 1683 his son writes, " My father 
persecuted and imprisoned for Nonconformity six 
months. After that, forced to leave his family and 
live privately for two years." 

Isaac was the eldest of nine children. The 
home of the family was Southampton, where the 
father, when not in prison, kept a private school. 
It is pleasant to know that young Isaac was taught 
by the Rector of All Saints', Southampton, a Mr. 
Pinhorne, and that this worthy clergyman took a 
great interest in the clever little fellow, and exerted 
himself to raise a sum of money for his maintenance 
at one of the Universities. But the Church just 
then was doubtless looked upon as a " hard step- 
dame " by the son of an often imprisoned Dissenter, 
and to none but Churchmen could Oxford or 
Cambridge open its portals. We may regret, but 
we can scarcely wonder, that at sixteen young 
Isaac "declared his resolution to cast in his lot 
with the Dissenters." He was sent to an academy 
kept by a Mr. Rowe oddly enough, among his 
fellow-pupils was one who came to be an Irish 
archbishop and he "joined Mr. Rowe's Church," 
i. e. became a communicant there, two years later. 
He was only three years at the academy perhaps 
because his father could not keep him there and 
then spent two years at home, 1694 to 1696. 
These were memorable years in the history of 
English hymn-singing. We do not know what 
was sung at the Southampton chapel perhaps 
Sternhold's psalms. At any rate, young Watts 
complained of the sad doggerel which was in vogue. 
He was asked or, it may be, challenged by his 



ISAAC WATTS 



father, who was one of the deacons, to attempt 
something better. His first attempt was a para- 
phrase of Rev. v., ' Behold the glories of the Lamb ; ' 
and it was indeed " something better" than that 
congregation had yet sung. So he went on, and 




Isaac Watts. 

hymn after hymn followed. In 1706 he published 
a small volume of sacred verse, called Horcz Lyricce, 
and one year afterwards (July 1707) a volume of 
hymns. 

Meanwhile, after being two years at Stoke New- 
ington as a private tutor, he had been ordained as 



312 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

the Independent minister of a congregation in 
Berry Street in 1702. By this time toleration was 
established, and Dissenters were winning their way 
to wealth and honour. A certain Sir Thomas 
Abney, who was Lord Mayor in 1700, now occu- 
pied King James's old hunting lodge at Theobalds 
in Hertfordshire. He opened his house to Watts, 
who lived under the Abneys' hospitable roof for 
six-and-thirty years, in feeble health, but yet 
preaching and writing diligently, and gradually 
growing in fame and honour. His personal in- 
come never exceeded, it is said, ioo/. a-year, not- 
withstanding the great popularity of his works, 
but a third of this was spent systematically in 
charity. His wants were doubtless well supplied 
by his good host, and after Sir Thomas's death 
by his widow and daughters. He lived to see his 
Logic adopted as a text-book in the very Univer- 
sity from which his Nonconformity had once ex- 
cluded him ; to be honoured and loved by Church- 
men like Bishop Wilson of Sodor and Man, and 
to receive the degree of D.D. from the Universities 
of Edinburgh and Aberdeen. His holy and useful 
life came to a peaceful close at Lady Abney's 
house at Stoke Newington at the age of seventy- 
four, on November 25, 1748. His last resting-place 
is in the memorable graveyard of Bunhill Fields, 
where lies John Bunyan. 

Watts's hymns are of very varying merit. But 
it is not the volume of Hymns by which his 
influence on the Church is so marked, as that 
other which he published in 1719, The Psalms of 
David imitated in tJie language of the New Testa- 



ISAAC WATTS 313 

ment, and applied to the Christian State and 
Worship. The right of Christians to adapt the 
Psalter thus was fiercely contested in Watts's own 
day ; and no doubt his " adaptations " were many 
of them forced and far-fetched ; but the principle 
has been long established, and to it we owe many 
of our best hymns, notably those of Henry Lyte, 
Sir Robert Grant, and Sir H. W. Baker. Perhaps 
the finest of Watts's Psalms are ' Before Jehovah's 
awful throne ' (slightly altered by John Wesley), 
' O God, our help in ages past,' and ' Jesus shall 
reign where'er the sun.' Among the hymns, 
* When I survey the wondrous Cross,' stands higher, 
I think, than any other of Watts's. Next to it 
comes the beautiful ( There is a land of pure de- 
light' (said, strangely enough, to have been sug- 
gested by the view across Southampton Water). 
Watts is remarkable in another way, as the first 
writer of children's hymns. But his " Divine and 
Moral Songs " are now being fast forgotten. Their 
theology is harsh and narrow, and their versification 
dull and not attractive to children. 

The popularity of Watts's hymns as a whole was 
not only maintained, but increased till nearly the 
middle of the present century ; and even now, not 
the Congregational hymn-book alone, but countless 
other collections, are largely indebted to him. He 
has had many imitators few of them who copied 
his excellences, many his defects. If the ancient 
hymnists may be called singers of the Incarnation, 
the Wesleyans of the spiritual life, and modern 
Church poets of the Kingdom of God, then Watts 
and his school may be classified as especially 



3 14 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

singers of the Atonement. ' The glories of the 
Lamb ' are the theme not only of his earliest 
hymn, but of hundreds of those which follow. It 
is impossible to enumerate all the writers of this 
school, which in later times may be considered as 




Philip Doddridge. 

continued by James Montgomery, and Thomas 
Kelly, who has been called a " fervid Irish Watts." 
Philip Doddridge, Watts' s closest follower and 
personal friend, was born June 26, 1702. Like 
Watts, he was offered the means of education at 
either University, and, like Watts, he declined the 



PHILIP DODDRIDGE 315 

offer on religious grounds. He became at first 
an Independent, but afterwards a Presbyterian 
minister, and after some vicissitudes of fortune he 
settled at Northampton, where he had both a chapel 
and also an academy for the training of Dissenting 
ministers. His hymns were chiefly written to be 
sung after his sermons. None of them were col- 
lected till after his death, on October 26, 1751. His 
best-known hymns are ' Hark, the glad sound ! the 
Saviour comes/ ' High let us swell our tuneful 
notes/ and ' My God, and is Thy table spread ? ' 
It has been truly said that none of them are so 
good as Watts's best, and none so bad as Watts's 
worst. He had better taste upon the whole than 
Watts, and less fervour. His Rise and Progress 
of Religion in the Soul occupied in the estimation 
of the devout Evangelicals of the early part of 
the century very much the place which Goulburn's 
Thoughts on Personal Religion has done among 
devout Anglicans of our own time. But it was 
never in true harmony with Church doctrine, and 
the Dissenters as well as the Church have in great 
measure lost touch with it. His hold of funda- 
mental doctrine was never very firm, and many of 
his pupils and followers drifted into Unitarianism. 



THE WESLEYS AND TOPLADY 

ON October 14, 1735, a little party embarked at 
Gravesend for the new colony of Georgia. The 
head and founder of the colony was Mr. (afterwards 
General) Oglethorpe, an excellent man and devout 
Churchman, who earnestly desired to supply the 
new colony from the first with Church privileges. 
The clergyman selected and sent out by S. P. G. 
was a Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford, already 
known as the master-spirit of a new religious 
movement in his University, now known to all 
time as John Wesley. With him, acting as Mr. 
Oglethorpe's private secretary, was his younger 
brother, Charles, a Westminster student of Christ 
Church, Oxford, and an ardent sympathizer with 
his brother John. John was at this time thirty- 
two years old, having been born June 17, 1703. 
Charles was five years younger, and not yet in 
Holy Orders. 

The voyage then begun is memorable, not only 
for its influence on the career of the great founder 
of Methodism, and so upon the whole subsequent 
history of religion in England and America, but 
in particular as a turning-point in the history of 
English hymnody, which is our present subject. 
316 



THE WESLEYS AND TOPLADY 317 

For on board the same vessel was a party of 
twenty-six Germans, members of the community 
called the " United Brethren," or Moravians, with 
whom the Wesleys and their two companions, 
Ingham and Delamotte, soon became friendly. 
John Wesley's impressible nature was especially 
touched by the bright faith and humble, cheerful 
piety of these good people, who sang their beloved 
Lutheran hymns day by day through the most 
tempestuous weather. It was the first time that 
Anglicans and Lutherans, singers of psalms and 
singers of hymns, had worshipped and travelled 
together in familiar intercourse ; and one of the 
results of their fellowship undoubtedly was the 
large extent to which hymn-singing entered into 
the devotions of the future Methodist Societies. 

Neither of the brothers stayed long in America. 
Charles returned to England in 1736, John two 
years later. Then it was that their great systematic 
Evangelistic work was brought into full action, 
and the " Societies " were rapidly formed all over 
the country. Simultaneously with this began the 
long series of their hymn-books. The earliest 
was a Collection of Psalms and Hymns by John 
Wesley, in 1738, largely taken from Watts and 
George Herbert, but also containing some trans- 
lations of German hymns by Wesley himself. In 
1739 appeared Hymns and Sacred Poems, which 
were enlarged in 1740 and 1742, and supplemented 
by two additional volumes in 1749. It was in this 
book that Charles Wesley's great powers as a 
hymn-writer first showed themselves. The 1739 
edition contains his five great festival hymns, 



318 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND TltElR AUTHORS 

beginning with that for Christmas, ' Hark how all 
the welkin rings ! ' afterwards unadvisedly altered 
by some one else to ' Hark, the herald angels sing ! ' 
and followed by those for Epiphany, Easter, and 
Ascension, with a less-known and inferior one for 
Whit-sunday. The next year appeared ' Christ, 
Whose glory fills the skies ; ' ' Jesu, lover of my 
soul ; ' * Depth of mercy ; ' with others less known 
but not less striking. For a time the two brothers 
published their verse jointly, and it is not always 
easy to distinguish their work ; but all the trans- 
lations of German hymns are believed to be by 
John ; and those mentioned above, with many 
others, have the unmistakable character of Charles's 
acknowledged hymns. In 1745 appeared the 
remarkable volume of Hymns on the Lord's 
Supper, with the names of both brothers on the 
title-page; but the hymns are said by Mr. Miller 
to be all Charles's. The magnificent ' Ye servants 
of God, your Master proclaim ' (unhappily excluded 
from Hymns Ancient and Modern}, was written in 
1774, among Hymns for a time of trouble during 
the savage persecution of the Methodists. The 
Hymns of Intercession for all Mankind, published 
in 1758, contains that which is perhaps the most 
widely known, though not the best of the Wesleyan 
hymns ' Lo ! He comes, with clouds descending.' 
But this is a recast by Charles Wesley of one 
published by John Cennick, one of the early 
preachers, in a Dublin hymn-book, some years 
earlier. Cennick's hymn is poor stuff compared 
to that into which Wesley recast it, putting into it 
at once fire and tunefulness. 



THE WESLEYS AND tOPLADY 319 

The separate hymn-books of the Wesleys are 
nearly forty in number, varying from four or five 
special hymns, to the Hymns and Select Passages 
of Scripture, which number 2145. Besides this, 
Charles Wesley left behind him a version of the 
Psalms, nearly complete, and many MS. hymns. 
The edition published by the Conference in 1869 
comprises thirteen large volumes. No English 
hymn-writer approaches him in copiousness. Of 
course, in so vast a collection there must be many 
repetitions, and many pieces that we no longer 
remember or care for ; but yet it is only doing 
justice to these famous men to say that the depth 
of spirituality, the reverent tone, and the clear 
grasp of truth which as a whole the hymns exhibit 
is truly marvellous. 

As time went on, the hymn-writing passed 
almost entirely from the hands of John Wesley 
into those of the younger brother. In the selection 
which the brothers left behind them for use 
throughout the Wesleyan congregations, Mr. Kirk 
estimates that out of 771 hymns by various authors 
626 are by Charles, and only 33 by John Wesley. 
The best of these last are his translations from the 
German, the two first being, ' Lo ! God is here, let 
us adore/ and ' Thou hidden love of God,' both by 
the saintly mystic, Gerhard Tersteegen. 

Charles Wesley, after his marriage in 1749, gave 
up, to a great extent, itinerant preaching, and 
ministered chiefly in Bristol and in London. The 
brothers were closely united in affection to the 
last ; but as time went on, Charles shrunk from 
some of his brother's ecclesiastical irregularities, 



320 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

and clung more closely than ever to the Church of 
England. He died on March 29, 1788, and it is 
said that by his own request the pall was borne at 
his funeral, at St. Pancras Church, by six clergy- 
men. John Wesley lived till 1791. 

As might be expected, Wesleyan hymn-writing 
was by no means confined to the two brothers. 
Many fine hymns were written by their fellow- 
labourers and sympathizers. Thus, 'All hail the 
power of Jesus' Name/ is by Edward Perronet ; 
' The God of Abraham praise,' by Thomas Olivers ; 
' Hail, Thou once despised Jesus,' by Henry Bake- 
well ; ' Children of the Heavenly King,' by John 
Cennick ; ' Sweet the moments, rich in blessing,' is 
a recast from James Allen, by the Hon. Walter 
Shirley. Each of these was connected more or 
less with the Wesleys, though Allen was a follower 
of Ingham, who had seceded from them, and 
Shirley was the leading spirit of the Countess of 
Huntingdon's " Connection," which was opposed 
to Wesley. 

Many of these good men, it must be owned, 
were bitter controversialists, and the Calvinist 
controversy, as time went on, divided those who in 
all essential matters were of one heart and one 
soul. But the hymn which of all English hymns is 
perhaps best known and loved, which is sung in 
all languages, which has been faltered by thousands 
of dying lips, which is for almost every one con- 
nected with some dear memory, came from a pen 
which was never weary of pouring contempt and 
scorn upon the Wesleys and all that they taught. 
That Bishop Bonner should have written the 



THE WESLEYS AND TOPLADY 321 

Homily on Charity is scarcely more wonderful than 
that * Rock of Ages ' should have been the work 
of Augustus Montague Toplady. 

Yet, happily, Toplady's libels on the Wesleys 
have been long forgotten, and we need only think 
of him as a self-denying, warm-hearted Christian 
and a zealous evangelist. He was the son of an 
officer who was killed while his child was a baby. 
From his Irish mother he inherited his warmth of 
temperament, and perhaps his pugnacity. Born 
in 1740, and first seriously impressed at fifteen, he 
became in his eighteenth year an earnest Christian, 
and an extreme, uncompromising Calvinist. In 
1762 he was ordained, and after being for a short 
time at Blagdon, in the Mendips, the scene of 
Hannah More's religious work at a later date, he 
became in 1768 Vicar of Broad Hembury, near 
Exeter. But already the seeds of consumption 
were in his feeble frame, and he resigned his 
benefice and went to London to die. Yet he 
made a gallant fight against death, writing and 
preaching almost to the last. On his arrival in 
London he became editor of the Gospel Magazine^ 
the only religious periodical in England, which, after 
a hundred and fifteen years, still survives under its 
old name. In that magazine for March, 1776, he 
inserted ' Rock of Ages, cleft for me,' with the title 
(itself a glance at Wesleyan notions of perfecti- 
bility), ' A Living and Dying Prayer for the Holiest 
Believer in the World.' This great hymn, by a 
strange irony of fate, has been attributed to Charles 
Wesley, just as Wesley's ' Christ, whose glory fills 
the skies,' has on the other hand been printed 

x 



322 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

among Toplady's works. Indeed, either hymn 
might have been written by either man. Toplady 
has written many other hymns, among others a 
beautiful evening hymn from which a selection, 
' Inspirer and Hearer of prayer,' is dear to many 
who use Bishop Bickersteth's Hymnal Companion. 
Almost simultaneously with 'Rock of Ages/ he 
wrote and gave to Lady Huntingdon another 
which, barring one or two blemishes, I venture to 
think scarcely surpassed as a dying man's last 
utterance by ' Abide with me ' itself the wonderful 
and heavenly-minded * When languor and disease 
invade.' The light of God must have been already 
upon the face of one who could thus write. He 
died in 1778. Charles Wesley and he both rest 
under the roar and dust of the London streets ; 
but both are together now "where beyond these 
voices there is peace." 






WILLIAM COWPER AND JOHN 
NEWTON 

THE last quarter of the eighteenth century 
brought a new and powerful tributary to the ever- 
broadening stream of English hymnody a tribu- 
tary remarkable in several ways. It was the 
unaided work of two members of the Church of 
England, a clergyman and a layman, living in a 
small country town, unconnected with either the 
Wesleyan or the rival Calvinist organization ; and 
it brought to the work of hymn-writing the cultiva- 
tion and taste of an educated man of letters on the 
one hand, and the spiritual fervour on the other of 
a man whose religious history was very remarkable, 
and whose character was singularly powerful. Its 
great success, therefore, is not wonderful. There 
is no other book of hymns, the work of two men 
only, from which so large a proportion of material 
has passed into the Church's permanent store of 
sacred song. In the Hundred Best Hymns of 
the Religious Tract Society, the number selected 
from the 347 Olney Hymns is exactly the same 
as that from the thousands of hymns of the 
two Wesleys and the 750 psalms and hymns of 
Isaac Watts. 

323 



324 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

Each of the two writers, as I have hinted, brought 
his own special qualifications to his task. William 
Cowper's bright, pure, and genial life was over- 
clouded by the heaviest of all trials. He was born 
November 26, 1731, at the now-demolished par- 
sonage of Berkhamsted, where his father, a son of 
the famous judge, Spencer Cowper, was rector. 
At six years old he lost his mother. My readers 
are all familiar with his infinitely pathetic lines on 
her picture. He was educated at Westminster, 
which he left at eighteen to live with an uncle, and 
read for the bar. In 1748 he entered the Middle 
Temple, and was called six years later. Till 1763 
he lived the usual life of a literary young Templar, 
not troubling himself much about briefs, but 
writing, like Pendennis, for the magazines, and 
making love to his beautiful cousin Theodora. 
But in that year came the crisis 'of his life. He 
had been promised a clerkship in the House of 
Lords, which would have placed him in easy cir- 
cumstances for life. But the right of appointment 
was disputed, and Cowper was told he would have 
to contest it. The shock unnerved him, and 
brought on an attack of insanity. All hope of 
his marriage was over ; he found himself poor 
for life, and in despair he attempted suicide. In 
December 1763 he was placed in a private asylum, 
kept by an excellent man, a Doctor Cotton, from 
whence he emerged temporarily restored to reason 
and with a heart subdued and surrendered to God. 
He became a boarder in the family of a Mr. Unwin, 
at Huntingdon, and on his death removed to 
Olney, in Buckinghamshire, to be tended and 



WILLIAM COWPER AND JOHN NEWTON 325 

watched over for thirty years by his widow, Mary 
Unwin. At Olney he fell in with the singular man 
who held the curacy of the parish, John Newton, 
and the two became very intimate friends. 

John Newton's early life might form the ground- 
work of a story by Defoe, but that it transcends 
all fiction. He was born in London in 1725. His 
mother was a pious Dissenter, his father a sea- 
captain, a stern, silent man, who had been educated 
in a Jesuit college in Spain. After only two years' 
schooling, the captain took his boy at eleven years 
of age on board his ship, and at eighteen John 
Newton was seized by a press-gang, and sent on 
board a man-of-war at the Nore. His father was 
able to make interest, and he was made a midship- 
man. But he had now become utterly reckless, 
attempted to desert, and was brought back, and 
once more sent before the mast. At Madeira he 
managed to get himself exchanged into a merchant 
vessel, landed at Sierra Leone, and took service 
with a planter, who treated him with savage cruelty. 
In 1747 he contrived to escape, and, after strange 
vicissitudes, became first the mate, and then the 
captain of a slave ship. Hitherto he had lived a 
life of profaneness and dissipation, he had lost all 
faith and all hope ; but one good influence only 
remained his boy-love for his cousin, Mary 
Catlett. He had first met her in Kent when he 
was eighteen arid she fourteen, and through all the 
terrible years which followed his heart was true to 
her, and in his worst outbursts of vice he was ever 
" faithful to his future wife." In 1748, on a voyage 
home from the Brazilian coast, he was awakened 



326 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

to a sense of sin by reading the Imitation of Christ, 
and his impressions were deepened by a provi- 
dential deliverance from foundering at sea almost 
immediately afterwards. At last, in 1750, he was 
married to his early and only love. For six years 
longer he followed his profession, the long hours of 
the voyages giving him ample time to study the 
Bible and the classics, and he began to think 
seriously of giving up the sea and seeking ordina- 
tion. But Georgian Bishops were perhaps par- 
donably shy of a man with such strange antece- 
dents. From Archbishop Gilbert he received " the 
softest refusal imaginable." He was tempted to 
become a dissenting minister, but his Mary, always 
his good angel, kept him steadfast to the Church. 
At last Lord Dartmouth (Cowper's " one who 
wears a coronet and prays "), in whose gift was the 
living of Olney, made the absentee Rector keep a 
curate, and persuaded Bishop Green of Lincoln to 
ordain John Newton and license him to Olney. 
The strange pair, the rough and homely sailor and 
the gentle, heart-broken Templar, settled down 
together to work as clergyman and lay helper in 
the long-neglected town. They worked hard and 
earnestly too hard, probably, for Cowper's brain 
and nerves ; and one fruit of their work was the 
hymns, which, from time to time, were written as 
occasion served. Thus Cowper wrote 'Jesus, 
where'er Thy people meet/ for the opening of 
what we should now call a Mission Room. Other 
hymns were written by Newton for his annual 
sermon to young people on New-year's Day. At 
last they determined to collect and print their 



WILLIAM COWPER AND JOHN NEWTON 327 

hymns, arranging them in three books, the first on 
select passages of Holy Scripture, the second 
miscellaneous and occasional, the third on the 
spiritual life. The progress of the work was inter- 
rupted by a second attack of Cowper's insanity in 
1773. The last hymn he wrote was the wonderful 
* God moves in a mysterious way,' composed 
during a country walk just as he felt his brain 
giving way, and the " clouds " he " so much 
dreaded " returning over his spirit. For three 
years he kept silence, but he . recovered his 
reason at length, and his charming poems were 
written and published at intervals during the rest 
of his life, which was cheered by the constant 
attentions of Mrs. Unwin, and by the pleasant 
society of friends he had made in the neighbour- 
hood. His cousin, Lady Hesketh, Theodora's 
sister, sought him out, and though his lost love 
never wrote to him, yet the two combined in many 
ways to make his declining years easier. He 
never, however, wrote a hymn or any devotional 
verse again, and after a third attack of insanity in 
1787, never spoke on religious subjects. He died 
April 25, 1800, still under the delusion, shadowed 
forth in his last poem, that he was a " Castaway." 

The Olney Hymns were published in 1779. 
Those written by Cowper are marked by the initial 
C. They are, as might be expected, more tuneful 
and more tender than Newton's. ' Oh for a closer 
walk with God ! ' ' Hark, my soul ! it is the Lord,' 
' There is a fountain filled with Blood,' ' Heal us, 
Emmanuel,' ( God moves in a mysterious way/ are 
among the best known of his ; and each one has 



328 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

its own spiritual beauty and power to waken the 
echoes of the heart. John Newton's have a strength 
and vitality of their own ; his most popular is per- 
haps the lovely ' How sweet the Name of Jesus 
sounds ! ' a reminiscence, but by no means, as it 
has been called, a version, of St. Bernard's famous 
rhythm. Next to this is the fine hymn founded on 
Psalm Ixxxvii., 'Glorious things of thee are 
spoken.' Several others will occur to my readers, 
probably as being heard at home rather than sung 
in church. 

Newton and Cowper saw little of one another 
after the hymns were printed. In 1779 John 
Thornton, the large-hearted philanthropist, father 
of a noble succession of generous, religious men, 
who had allowed John Newton ioo/. a-year for 
chanties during his tenure of the Olney curacy, 
presented him to a city living, St. Mary Woolnoth, 
the twin towers of which are so conspicuous at the 
entrance of Lombard Street. Here he preached 
and worked till the close of his life. He published 
many books, but was most of all employed as a 
spiritual director, and had a great influence in 
giving to the early Evangelical school its robust 
and practical piety. In 1790 his beloved " Mary " 
was taken from him ; but, broken-hearted though 
he was, he worked on cheerfully and bravely till 
he joined her in 1807, seven years after his former 
colleague had passed through the clouds for ever. 



REGINALD HEBER AND HENRY HART 
MILMAN 

THROUGHOUT the closing years of the last 
century, and for the first ten years of the nine- 
teenth, the many hymns which were written, 
whether by Churchmen or Nonconformists, were 
entirely disconnected with the formularies of the 
Church of England. Even in the Olney hymns 
none of the great festivals not even Christmas 
and Easter were provided for ; a few hymns 
by Wesley and Doddridge, with Nahum Tate's 
paraphrases, appended to the New Version of 
Psalms, were all that Churchmen could find to 
sing in connection with the most jubilant services 
of the Christian year. But in the month of 
October iSn there appeared the first four of a 
series of hymns, intended to supply this defect, 
the first instalment of a small but very remarkable 
contribution to hymnody, based avowedly on the 
lines of the Book of Common Prayer. These 
hymns were sent to a magazine called the Christian 
Observer, at that time edited by Zachary Macaulay, 
the father of Lord Macaulay, which had been 
established, and flourished for many years, as the 
organ of the Evangelical School in the Church of 
329 



330 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

England, which it represented with great ability, 
moderation, and earnestness. The hymns, of 
which only six more were published at that time, 
bore the initials D. R., being the final letters of a 
name which ever will be memorable in the Church 
of England, the name of Reginald Heber. 

Reginald Heber represents the highest Christian 
culture in England of the beginning of the century. 
He was of a good Yorkshire family, and his father, 
a former fellow and tutor of Brasenose, had in- 
herited from his mother a good estate in Shrop- 
shire, including the Rectory of Hodnet. He held 
this with the Rectory of Malpas, in Cheshire, 
when his son Reginald was born, April 21, 1783. 
The room in which the future poet-bishop was 
born is still preserved in the beautiful old " Higher 
Rectory," and the font in which he was baptized is 
pointed out in St. Chad's Church, Shrewsbury, to 
which it was transferred from Malpas many years 
ago. The living of Malpas has the distinction of 
being held by two rectors, and of possessing an 
upper and lower house of residence. The former 
of these, Heber's home in childhood, is an ideal 
country rectory, with its beautiful " Parson's walk " 
overlooking the wide valley of the Dee and the 
picturesque range of the Yale of Clwyd mountains. 
Reginald was the eldest son of his father's second 
marriage. His half brother, Richard Heber, be- 
came noted as the greatest book collector in the 
world, and is said to have left behind him nearly 
500,000 volumes, gathered in eight great collections 
in London, Paris, Rome, and various towns on the 
Continent. 



REGINALD HEBER 



331 



Reginald, after being educated at the neighbour- 
ing Grammar School of Whitchurch, was sent in 




Reginald Heber, 
Bishop of Calcutta. 

1800 to his father's College of Brasenose. It may 
almost be said that he took Oxford by storm. 
Never did a young man make distinguished 



332 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

friends more rapidly ; and he never lost a friend 
save by death. All who knew him loved him. 
In 1803, m the second year of his undergraduate- 
ship, he won the prize for English verse (not the 
" Newdigate ") by his famous poem of Palestine. 
Walter Scott sat in his rooms and criticized it ; 
but Scott was a family friend, and had dedicated a 
canto of Marmion to Heber's brother. Southey, 
the two Hares, J. J. Blunt, Henry Milman, all 
were among his admirers. His prize poem was 
recited before an immense audience in the Theatre 
at the Duke of Wellington's installation as 
Chancellor. In 1805 he was elected Fellow of 
All Souls. After two years of continental travel 
with John Thornton he came back to England, 
was ordained, and instituted at once to the family 
living of Hodnet, on the edge of the great park 
at Hawkstone. The same year, 1807, saw his 
marriage to Amelia Shipley, daughter of the Dean 
of St. Asaph. 

Of his happy life at Hodnet a most fascinating 
picture has been drawn in a well-known book of 
recent times, Memorials of a Quiet Life. Perhaps 
the only " bitter drop " in his cup arose from the 
eccentric religionism of his neighbour, the famous 
Rowland Hill, younger son of the great baronet of 
Hawkstone, a man full of loving earnestness, but 
born to set at defiance all rules and conventions of 
Church order and discipline. But Heber's heart 
was large enough to endure what his judgment 
disapproved. 

It was while at Hodnet that Heber began hymn- 
writing. Why he did not continue the course he 



REGINALD HEBER 333 

began in 1811 we do not know ; but the project of 
a Church hymn-book was never absent from his 
mind thenceforth to the end. His great diligence 
as a parish priest still left him time for various 
literary activities. He joined with Southey and 
J. J. Blunt in writing for the Quarterly Review ; 
he edited the works of Jeremy Taylor, prefacing 
them with a delightful life ; he was made Bamp- 
ton Lecturer in 1815; and in 1822 Preacher of 
Lincoln's Inn. He had previously been made 
Prebendary of St. Asaph, of which his father-in- 
law was Dean. Staying with Dean Shipley at his 
vicarage at Wrexham, he wrote for Whit-sunday, 
1819, the famous hymn, 'From Greenland's icy 
mountains,' to be sung before a sermon for S. P. G. 
Heber's appointment as Preacher of Lincoln's 
Inn marked him out clearly as one who might one 
day be appointed to a bishopric. But the call 
which came to him at the close of that year 1822 
was an unexpected one to himself and his friends. 
It was to succeed Bishop Middleton in the see of 
Calcutta. It was a tremendous charge ; for at that 
time there was no other Bishop of the English 
Church in the eastern hemisphere. Not only all 
India with Ceylon, but even Australia, was sup- 
posed to be under his jurisdiction. To some of 
his friends it seemed like a call to martyrdom ; all 
felt that it meant heroic sacrifice. He accepted it 
as what it was God's will. Gradually his faith 
had been growing clearer, his saintliness deeper, 
though his bright wit and keen enjoyment of life 
were unchanged. From the hill above Hodnet he 
gazed upon the quaint, beloved tower with many 



334 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

tears, and then turned his back upon it for ever. 
He won all hearts in India as he had done in 
England. He completed a long and laborious 
visitation tour in 1825. Then in the spring of 
1826 he began a second. He reached Trichi- 
nopoly on Saturday, April I. On the Sunday and 
Monday his day was filled up with confirmations, 
preachings, and all the exhausting work which a 
colonial Bishop finds ready to his hands wherever 
he goes. At last on the Monday afternoon he 
was able to take some rest. It proved to be 
eternal rest. He was found dead in a warm bath 
that evening, having apparently fainted. 

In 1827 his widow published all that was com- 
plete of the Hymns adapted to the weekly Church 
Service of tJie Year, containing various additions 
to the tentative volume which Heber himself had 
published in 1812. The hymns were evidently 
meant to be gathered from various sources Jeremy 
Taylor, Drummond of Hawthornden, Dryden, 
Addison, Charles Wesley, Cowper, are all laid 
under contribution. But his principal coadjutor 
was Henry Hart Milman, the son of a London 
physician, whose career had in some respects been 
a curious parallel to Heber's own. He came up 
to Brasenose from Eton about ten years after 
Heber; like Heber, he rose into fame by a striking 
prize poem, the " Apollo Belvidere ; " like him, he 
became Bampton Lecturer. But he soon developed 
into the eminent historian whom we all remember, 
and died, beloved and honoured, as Dean of St. 
Pauls, 1868. 

Heber's finest hymn is undoubtedly that for 



HENRY HART MILMAN 335 

Trinity Sunday, 'Holy, holy, holy, Lord God 
Almighty.' As a hymn of direct adoration it 




Henry Hart Milman, 
Dean of St Pauls. 

stands in the front rank of English hymns. One 
speaks with more hesitation of two others, 'The 
Son of God goes forth to war,' and * Brightest and 



336 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

best of the sons of the morning/ both of them 
open to serious criticism, especially the latter, with 
its somewhat sentimental prettiness. But Heber 
is so tuneful, that we too often overlook his 
deficiencies. I cannot help owning that I think 
some of his less-known hymns among his best, 
such as his very first, * Hosanna to the Living Lord,' 
' Lord of mercy and of might,' ' Creator of the 
rolling flood/ the two very beautiful Holy Com- 
munion hymns, ' Forth from the dark and stormy 
sky/ and ' Bread of the world in mercy broken/ 
and the Miltonic hymn for Michaelmas,' O Captain 
of God's host' (except for its curious confusion 
between our Lord and St. Michael). 

Of Milman's hymns the most popular are c Ride 
on, ride on in majesty/ and * When our heads are 
bowed with woe/ the latter singularly beautiful. 
( O help us, Lord, each hour of need ' is an ex- 
cellent hymn on the Syrophenician woman (the 
hymns were originally meant to explain the Gospel 
for the day), but the special verses referring to her 
are too often omitted. 



JAMES MONTGOMERY 

IT was the fashion thirty or forty years ago to 
speak of James Montgomery as the Cowper of the 
nineteenth century. Each was a literary man ; 
each published several volumes of poems ; each 
had a vein of melancholy. But Montgomery's was 
only quiet and sentimental melancholy ; his poems 
are nearly forgotten, and even in this day of re- 
prints no one will resuscitate the "Wanderer in 
Switzerland," or the " Pelican Island." Comparisons 
of this kind do injustice to the weaker man. Good 
James Montgomery was not a genius ; but he was 
a hard-working literary man, a devout and simple- 
minded Christian, a tasteful versifier, and a man 
who did very great services to English hymnody. 
He was our first hymnologist ; the first Englishman 
who collected and criticized hymns, and who made 
people that had lost all recollection of ancient 
models understand something of what a hymn 
meant, and what it ought to be. 

His gentle, useful life ought not to be forgotten. 
His father was a Moravian minister in the little 
town of Irvine, in Ayrshire, known to us of the 
present day by its delightful poet-preacher, William 
Robertson. There James was born, November 4, 
337 Y 



338 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

1771. While quite a child he was sent to school 
at Fulneck, the Moravian settlement, then recently 
founded in Yorkshire, on the high ground above 
the Aire valley, between Leeds and Bradford. 
Here, no doubt, he was trained in the " Children's 
House," under kindly and firm, but strict discipline. 
His father and mother, meanwhile, were sent by 
the Society as missionaries to the West Indies ; 
there they both died, and little James never saw 
them again. When the time came for him to leave 
Fulneck, he felt no inclination for the Moravian 
ministry, for which he had been designed, but 
settled down as a small shopkeeper in the Calder 
Valley, at Mirfield, between Huddersfield and 
Dewsbury. In the intervals of business he " cul- 
tivated the muse," and, hardy Scotchman that he 
was, trudged up to town with a wallet full of 
verses, which, alas ! the hard-hearted publishers 
refused. 

From Mirfield he removed to Wath, near Shef- 
field, and in 1792 to Sheffield itself, his home till 
death. Two years after this the work of his life 
opened out for him. He was assistant in the shop 
of a Mr. Gales, printer, bookseller, and auctioneer. 
Mr. Gales was the editor and proprietor of a paper 
then called the Sheffield Register, an organ of very 
pronounced opposition politics, on which the 
Government of the day looked with small favour. 
Poor Mr. Gales was threatened with prosecution 
for some article a little too strong in its reflections 
on the Ministry ; he went into hiding, and his 
assistant James, at the age of twenty-three, took 
his place in the editorial chair. His time was 



JAMES MONTGOMERY 



339 



come. He changed the name of the paper from 
the Sheffield Register 'to the Sheffield Iris (not per- 
haps without thinking of the bow of hope which he 
saw in the clouded sky of his party), and made the 
paper a really powerful organ of Yorkshire liberal- 
ism in things political and ecclesiastical. He was 




James Montgomery. 

twice prosecuted (once for an ode on the Bastille 
in his "Poets' Corner"), and each time condemned 
to a short term of imprisonment. But his paper 
grew and throve and became a power. It was 
always honestly and well conducted, with a high 
tone of morality. And, hard-worked as he was, 



340 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

Montgomery beguiled his time with many volumes 
of verse, which found at last not only publishers 
but readers, and kindly or unkindly reviewers. 
The Whigs of the Edinburgh condescended to 
laugh at him ; so the Tory Blackwood cried him 
up, Dissenter and Liberal though he was. Pro- 
fessor Wilson praised the " Pelican Island " (which 
nobody would now guess to mean Australia), and 
even Byron called his " Missionary " *' very pretty." 

Up to the mature age of forty-three, Montgomery, 
though always a thoughtful and religiously disposed 
man, had not attached himself to any denomination. 
He was for years perplexed by doubts and diffi- 
culties in the way of believing. But at length the. 
sky cleared for him. His father had been a disciple 
of Cennick, the friend of the Wesleys, and it is said 
that a volume of Cennick's sermons was made the 
means of a change in James's faith. He now 
became a member of the Wesleyan Society for a 
time, and began to take great interest in sacred 
poetry and hymns. 

In 1817 there came to St. Paul's Church, Shef- 
field, an Evangelical clergyman from Staffordshire, 
the Rev. Thomas Cotterill, who brought with him 
a hymn-book which he had compiled for his former 
congregation, and which he proceeded to enlarge 
and adapt for his new charge. But orthodox 
Sheffield rose in arms, and dragged Mr. Cotterill 
and his book into the Consistory Court at York. 
Archbishop Vernon Harcourt undertook to mediate, 
and the Wesleyan editor of the /ra joined himself 
with Mr. Cotterill in the preparation of a hymnal 
which the Archbishop not only criticized and 



JAMES MONTGOMERY 341 

revised but actually supplemented with hymns of 
his own selecting ; a curious contrast to his brother 
Primate's discouragement of Heber. Montgomery 
confessed that he and Mr. Cotterill " clipped, inter- 
lined, and remodelled hymns of all sorts." Mean- 
while, hymns were beginning to flow freely from 
Montgomery's facile pen. In 1822 he printed a 
version of some fifty-six of the Psalms, called Songs 
of Z ion, and in 1825 a far more important work, 
the Christian Psalmist. This was the first really 
critical selection of English hymns, and the intro- 
ductory essay is a valuable and interesting histori- 
cal notice of the work which our hymn-writers had 
by that time done. Montgomery showed a very 
clear notion of what our hymns should be, and of 
the leading defects and vices of existing hymns. 
He added to the volume a certain number of his 
own, written at various times. Among these was 
' Angels from the realms of glory,' written for 
Cotterill's book, and the remarkable one, * Prayer 
is the soul's sincere desire,' written for Mr. Bicker- 
steth. The fine paraphrase of the /2nd Psalm, 
' Hail to the Lord's Anointed,' was written a little 
earlier, at Christmas 1821, and is said to have 
been repeated by Montgomery at the close of a 
speech for the Wesleyan Missionary Society at 
Liverpool. 

From that time forward, Montgomery's pen was 
very frequently employed upon hymns for special 
occasions, school anniversaries, charity sermons, 
stone-layings, and openings of various kinds. He 
wrote many fugitive pieces also, some of which 
were collected in the Poet's Portfolio, 1835, 



342 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

there appeared a hymn which of late years has 
become remarkably popular, 'For ever with the 
Lord/ not, in my judgment, one of his best. In 
1853 he collected all his own hymns, amounting to 
355, in one volume. 

For many years before his death Montgomery 
had become a communicant of the Church of Eng- 
land, worshipping regularly at St. George's Church, 
Sheffield, to the incumbent of which, Mr. Mercer, 
a zealous hymnologist and compiler, like himself, 
he was warmly attached. His house, the Mount, 
at Sheffield, was often visited by admiring strangers. 
He never married. He fell asleep at the age of 
eighty-two, April 30, 1854. 

James Montgomery can scarcely perhaps be 
spoken of as the author of any famous hymn. 
Some have even denied him (very unjustly) the 
true hymnic power. His hymns often disappoint 
one, and perhaps no hymn-writer has suffered more 
from being over-praised. But on the other hand 
he is always reverent and sincere ; his rhythm 
never jars upon the ear, and some of his more 
directly devotional hymns are really noble. Besides 
those already specified, I may mention as instances 
of true and elevating acts of worship, ' O Spirit of 
the Living God/ ' Pour down Thy Spirit from on 
high/ and 'Lord, teach us how to pray aright.' 
To have written but these three would be to have 
earned a true place among the singers of the 
Universal Church. 

I cannot leave Montgomery without referring to 
his friend and contemporary, Josiah Conder, born 
eighteen years later, and dying a year after Mont- 



JAMES MONTGOMERY 343 

gomery. Conder was a bookseller's son in the 
city ; like Montgomery, he edited for many years 
a Liberal and Dissenting newspaper ; like him, 
outside of the political arena, he was a gentle and 
saintly man. He was among those deputed to 
compile the New Congregational Hymn-book when 
the Independents had outgrown Watts, and the 
lion's share of the work fell to him. He has written 
many good hymns, but to us Church people he will 
always be known by his lovely hymn for Holy 
Communion, * Bread of Heaven, on Thee we feed,' 
a hymn which might have been written by Bona- 
ventura ; and a remarkable instance of the power 
which deep and true devotion and living faith have 
to lift a man above the level of his traditional or 
intellectual belief, and open to his inward eye the 
mysteries of the Kingdom of God. 



HENRY FRANCIS LYTE 

OF all the multitudinous hymns of the last fifty 
years, in which the Church of England has been 
so fruitful, I think it may be said without hesi- 
tation that the most widely diffused and most 
generally loved is ' Abide with me.' In Mr. King's 
Anglican Hynmology\\. stands fifth in the first rank 
of hymns, immediately next to ' Rock of Ages.' 
In the Hundred Best Hymns of the Religious 
Tract Society (the result of a large plebiscite of 
subscribers to the Sunday at Home] it actually 
stands second only to ' Rock of Ages.' Mr. King's 
classification is based on a comparison of hymn- 
books, a rough but somewhat misleading test. At 
any rate there can be no doubt that this great 
hymn has already taken its place among the 
choicest devotional treasures of the Christian 
Church. 

The life of its author was a singularly quiet and 
uneventful one. Henry Francis Lyte, the son of 
an officer of a good Somersetshire family, was 
born on the Border, at or near Kelso, June i, 
1793. He lost his father while a mere child, and 
spent his youth in Ireland, first at school near 
Enniskillen, and then at Trinity College, Dublin, 
344 



HENRY FRANCIS LYTE 345 

which he entered in 1809, winning a scholarship 
and three prize poems. His contemporary (ma- 
triculated in the same year) was the gifted Charles 
Wolfe, the author of the famous verses on "The 
Burial of Sir John Moore," and it would be in- 
teresting to know if two men so much alike in 
their tastes and sympathies ever became friends. 

Lyte's friends wished him to adopt the medical 
profession, but he determined upon taking Holy 
Orders. He was appointed in 181 5 l to a curacy in 
the county of Wexford, but soon resigned it, and 
for a while took pupils. Then came the great 
spiritual change of his life. A clerical neighbour 
was taken ill, and sent for Henry Lyte to visit 
him. On his sick-bed he had been awakened to 
a deeper interest in things eternal, and a clearer 
view of the leading truths of the Gospel than 
before. The two friends read and prayed and 
communed much together, and Henry Lyte's own 
eyes were opened to the realization of the truths 
which were now the support and comfort of his 
dying friend. Soon Lyte was left with the care 
of the widow and family of his friend, and the 
arrangement of their concerns upon his hands. 
This trust involved him in long-continued anxiety, 
and probably contributed, with the mental and 
spiritual conflicts through which he had passed, to 
leave behind permanent delicacy of health. He 
was unable for a time to take any clerical work, 
but at length accepted a lectureship at Marazion, 
in Cornwall, where he was happily married to the 

1 If this is correct, and Dr. Julian corroborates it, he could 
only have been twenty-two when ordained Deacon. H. H, 



346 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

daughter of a clergyman who had some property 
in the north of Ireland. 

He lived for a time at Lymington, in Hampshire, 
and afterwards at Dittisham, on the Dart ; but 
finally settled down about the year 1823 to that 
which became the work of his life the charge of 
a new church built specially for the fisher folk of 
Lower Brixham, under the red cliffs of Berry 
Head, the southern horn of Torbay. For more 
than twenty years he led the life of a faithful and 
diligent parish priest among his poor people, by 
whom he was greatly beloved. But he was always 
a student, gradually collecting an excellent library, 
both of Patristic and Anglican theology, never 
losing his hold on the deep Evangelical convictions 
of his early manhood, but growing yearly in the 
perception of those aspects of the truth which our 
great earlier divines set before it. His recreation 
was poetry. In 1826 he published a small volume 
of Tales in Verse on the Lord's Prayer, and in 
1835 a collection of miscellaneous poems. But 
his great desire was to carry out more happily 
than Watts had done the adaptation of the ideas 
of the Psalter to the services of the Christian 
Church. His Spirit of the Psalms appeared in 
1834. He did not know that this scheme and his 
very title had already, about five years previously, 
been anticipated by a lady, Miss Harriet Auber. 
Miss Auber's little book contains some good 
versions of psalms, but is known now only by her 
very beautiful hymn on the Holy Spirit, 'Our 
Blest Redeemer,' which she added with a few 
others to her Psalter, She was the daughter of 



HENRY FRANCIS LYTE 347 

the Rector of Tring, and died unmarried, advanced 
in years, but " full of good works," after a happy 
and useful life, at Broxbourne, in Hertfordshire, in 
1862. 

Lyte's Spirit of the Psalms is a better book on 
the whole than its earlier namesake. He is often 
very happy in seizing the leading idea of a psalm, 
and embodying it in a few verses, such as * Far 
from my heavenly home ' (137), ' Oh that the Lord's 
salvation' (14), and ' God of mercy, God of grace' 
(67). But his happiest versions are certainly those 
of the 84th Psalm, ' Pleasant are Thy courts above,' 
and the iO3rd, 'Praise, my soul, the King of 
Heaven,' both which are glorious additions to our 
Church hymnology. The book, however, is full of 
interest. It is, unhappily, now very scarce. There 
are some good experiments in the emendation of 
Tate and Brady, and there is one curious attempt 
to turn Ps. xxi. into a sort of * God save the King,' 
which is said to have been very popular with his 
fishermen, for whom he made the Accession an 
annual parish festival, perhaps mindful of the 
historic associations of Brixham Quay. Among 
other things he wrote for his people some popular 
sea-songs. 

But Lyte's strength, never great, gave way 
gradually under his manifold exertions. The in- 
terference of the Plymouth Brethren in his parish 
caused him much uneasiness, and made him regret 
his neglect of more definite Church teaching among 
them. His schools, too (he had 800 children in his 
Sunday School), were a great tax upon him. He 
tried a winter in Rome and South Italy in 1844-5, 



348 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

but returned home no better. All through 1847 
he was sinking lower. He was persuaded again to 
winter abroad, and prepared to leave home with 
the conviction that he should return no more. He 
had not preached for some time, but in his desire 
to leave with his people one last testimony to the 
faith in which he was to die, he preached once 
more, September 4, 1847, an earnest appeal to 
them on Holy Communion, which he then cele- 
brated for the last time. That evening he put 
into the hands of a friend the MS. of * Abide with 
me.' That week he left England and travelled by 
slow stages to Nice, where he died, November 20, 

1847. m 

'Abide with me' was thus his dying song. It is 
often abridged in the hymn-books, but the whole 
hymn of eight verses is given in Church Hymns 
(S. P. C. K.) with the correct reading of the last 
verse, ' Hold then Thy cross.' It is often, with 
curious dulness of perception, printed among 
evening hymns, simply because of the words ' fast 
falls the eventide.' Some people feel it too intense 
and subjective for public worship ; to many it is 
associated with the laying to rest of those dear to 
them it was sung at the funeral of Frederick 
Maurice, and doubtless Mr. Brown Borthwick is 
quite right in speaking of it as " not for congre- 
gational use, but for the quiet and meditative 
devotions of Christians of advanced spiritual 
experience." Nevertheless, especially as wedded 
to Dr. W. H. Monk's beautiful tune, ' Eventide,' 
it is so dear to our congregations that we can 
scarcely wish its public use ever to be discontinued. 



HENRY FRANCIS LYTE 349 

And surely the Nunc Dimittis is a precedent for 
the public use of an act of private devotion which 
may well be applied to a hymn breathing so much 
of its spirit. 

I may close this paper with a short notice of 
another " favourite hymn " and its author. Sir 
Robert Grant was the son of an East India Director. 
He was educated at Cambridge, but led a busy life 
as a barrister and Member of Parliament for many 
years, during which he and his brother Charles 
were well-known worshippers every Sunday among 
the congregation assembled in the once famous 
chapel of St. John's, Bedford Row, under Daniel 
Wilson and Baptist Noel. Each brother rose to 
eminence. Charles became Lord Glenelg and 
Colonial Secretary ; Robert, a Privy Councillor in 
1831, was appointed in 1834 Governor of Bombay. 
He died in India in 1838. Two of his hymns, 
'When gathering clouds around I view/ and the 
better known Litany, * Saviour, when in dust to 
Thee,' were published, like Heber's, in the Christian 
Observer. These, with a few more, were reprinted 
after his death by Lord Glenelg. Among them is 
the fine version of Psalm civ., ' O worship the King, 
all glorious above.' This, and the beautiful " Litany 
Hymn," are sure to keep their places. The latter, 
I think, will outlast most of the " Metrical Litanies " 
which have followed in its wake. 



THE HYMNS OF THE OXFORD MOVE- 
MENT. THE TRANSLATORS 

IN dealing with English hymnody we have now 
arrived at a period which involved a wide and 
far-reaching change in its character a change by 
no means confined to the Church of England, but 
showing itself in the worship of every denomin- 
ation I had almost said, of every English-speaking 
congregation throughout the world. The Oxford 
movement has, indeed, brought as distinct a new 
departure in hymnody as the Wesleyan move- 
ment did. The number of English hymns has 
enormously increased ; their character has been 
largely altered ; their use has been extended to 
every congregation ; and, what is best of all, there 
has arisen a spirit of Christian fellowship in 
hymn-singing which is a great help to Christian 
unity. In every denomination hymns from all 
sources ancient and modern, Catholic and Pro- 
testant, Church and Dissenting stand side by 
side in the hymn-book, and are sung with delight 
and heartiness by the congregation ; and nothing 
has done so much as this to draw closer together 
the divided members of Christ's body, and to 
kindle fresh hopes of a future, if distant, unity. 



THE HYMNS OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT 351 

This new development in hymnody is due, no 
doubt, to various causes, but it is mainly due to 
the general introduction of hymns into the services 
of the Church of England. Sixty years ago it 
was orthodox to sing the " new version " of Psalms : 
now there is probably not one church left in 
London, and few, if any, in all England, where 
this version is exclusively used. The great Latin 
and Greek hymns have been translated ; clergy 
and congregations who would never have used the 
hymns of the Wesleys, Watts, and Cowper, first 
accepted these ancient hymns, and then by degrees 
discovered the beauty and fitness of English ones 
which they had formerly overlooked, and thus 
" things new and old " were brought out of the 
Church's treasury, and each found its appropriate 
value. 

The earliest translations of ancient hymns, (ex- 
cept the Veni Creator] were probably those of 
William Drummond, of Hawthornden, in the 
beginning of the seventeenth century, one of 
which Heber included in his collection. A few 
others appeared from time to time, such as 
Dryden's Veni Creator ; and William Hammond, 
one of the early Calvinistic Methodists, translated 
a good many Breviary hymns. None of these, 
however, seem to have been used in churches; 
but in 1837 appeared two collections of "Ancient" 
hymns, which were as the first drops of a new 
shower. Richard Mant, Bishop of Down and 
Connor, a former Fellow of Oriel and Bampton 
Lecturer, an orthodox Churchman of the old 
school, and a rather voluminous versifier, published 



352 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

in that year his Ancient Hymns from the Roman 
Breviary ', versions not very literal, and somewhat 
verbose and stilted, but yet the first introduction 
to many English readers of the work of St. 
Ambrose and St. Gregory. Some of his hymns 
keep their place still. 

In that same year, 1837, there came forward a 
much more important volume, John Chandler's 
Hymns of the Primitive ChurcJi. Mr. Chandler 
had not long left Corpus John Keble's college 
and had entered upon his lifelong home in the 
beautiful parish of Witley, near Godalming. His 
preface is a very interesting revelation of the 
change going on in the minds of Churchmen. He 
was afraid of modern hymns as unchurchlike and 
unauthorized ; yet he felt Tate and Brady in- 
sufficient for Christian worship. So he bought a 
Parisian Breviary and one or two Latin hymn- 
books, and set to work to translate, avowedly for 
congregational use. The " Parisian Breviary " hymns 
were written in France, but in the Latin language, 
in the seventeenth and early years of the eighteenth 
centuries. The excellence of his translations is 
shown by the number which still keep their place 
in Hymns Ancient and Modern and other Church 
books. They have been repeatedly revised and 
improved since his time, and, moreover, the seven- 
teenth-century French hymns have lost their 
popularity to a great extent now that we have the 
really primitive and mediaeval hymns translated ; 
but Chandler's was a pioneer book, and it was 
conceived in a spirit of true and simple devotion. 

Chandler's attention had been called to these 



THE HYMNS OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT 353 

French hymns of the seventeenth century by some 
very scholarly translations of them which appeared 
from time to time in the British Magazine. These 




Isaac Williams. 



were collected in one volume, two years after his 
own, in 1839; they were the work of Isaac 
Williams, a man who impressed his friends and 



354 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

companions with the mark of sanctity more than 
any of his contemporaries, except John Keble. 
He was the son of a London barrister, educated at 
Harrow, and sent up to Trinity College, Oxford, 
where he won a Fellowship in 1832. For a time 
he was John Henry Newman's curate at St. Mary's. 
He was associated with Newman, Pusey, and 
Froude in the Tracts for tJie Times, and many of 
his verses appear side by side with Newman's and 
Keble's in the Lyra Apostolica. In 1 842 he took 
the living of Bisley, in Gloucestershire, but in- 
creasing ill-health soon compelled him to resign it, 
and for twenty years longer, till he was called to 
rest in 1865, his gentle and holy life was passed in 
almost constant suffering, though he was occasion- 
ally able to help his brother-in-law, in whose parish 
Stinchcombe he lived. Isaac Williams wrote 
many volumes of verse, dear to devout souls in 
the generation now passing away. From one of 
them, The Baptistery, is taken the solemn peni- 
tential hymn, * Lord, in this Thy mercy's day.' 
He translated, besides the Parisian hymns, those 
of St. Ambrose and Synesius ; but none of them 
were intended for congregational use, and only 
one or two are fitted to be sung in church. The 
metres are often artificial, and Williams had not a 
musical ear. One, indeed, stands out conspicuously 
from the rest as a singularly happy inspiration, the 
noble translation of Jean Baptiste Santeuil's hymn 
for Apostles' Days ' Disposer Supreme and Judge 
of the earth,' an instance in which the version 
surpasses the original in dignity and beauty. 
Translations of Latin hymns now became ex- 



THE HYMNS OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT 355 

ceedingly common. Some will be mentioned 
later ; but the rest of the present article must be 
devoted to a notice of the greatest of all trans- 
lators, and one of the most remarkable of modern 
hymn-writers John Mason Neale. 

Dr. Neale was the son of a clergyman, Cornelius 
Neale, who had been Senior Wrangler. He was 
born in 1818, and early lost his father; but his 
mother, the daughter of an accomplished and 
literary physician, Dr. Mason Good, was able to 
direct his great abilities. He was sent to Trinity 
College, Cambridge, where he took his degree in 
1840. He threw himself early in life into the 
Church controversies of the day, and he knew how 
to strike hard at an abuse, and to uphold with 
lightly-carried learning a truth which he thought 
had been overlooked. But he was far more than a 
brilliant pamphleteer and an enthusiastic ecclesi- 
ologist his reading was simply enormous. One 
winter, when driven by ill-health to Madeira, he 
spent days in the library of the Cathedral at 
Funchal. His great work, the History of the 
Eastern Church, was left unfinished, but neither 
this, nor his commentaries and sermons, nor even 
perhaps the great Sisterhood which he founded at 
East Grinstead, will keep his memory green so 
long as his hymns. 

He was appointed in 1846 Warden of Sackville 
College, East Grinstead, a small ancient almshouse, 
and this gave him leisure for study and work of 
many kinds. He ransacked all Europe for hymns ; 
he wrote with equal facility in Latin or Greek as 
in English, and sometimes he amused himself by 



356 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

mystifying his College friends by " ancient " Church 
songs of his own production ! His earliest im- 
portant hymnic work was done for the Ecclesio- 
logical Society, for which he assisted in preparing 
the Hymnal Noted, a translation of Latin hymns, 
chiefly from the Sarum use. Of this work Neale 
did the lion's share, and he soon showed his ex- 
traordinary vigour and felicity as a translator. 
His early versions are indeed somewhat stiff and 
over-literal in places ; but as time went on he 
wielded his weapon with far greater facility and 
power. Only once was he surpassed in this 
volume, by William Josiah Irons, the Vicar of 
Brompton, whose translation of the greatest of 
all mediaeval hymns, ' Day of wrath, O day of 
mourning,' is a truly wonderful achievement, for he 
has solved a difficulty which has baffled almost 
every one who has attempted it. 

In the first part of the Hymnal Noted appeared 
among others Neale's beautiful version of St. 
Bernard's hymn, ' Jesu, the very thought is sweet,' 
and the well-known ' All glory, laud, and honour.' 
In the second part, five years later, which was 
entirely the work of Neale and Mr. Benjamin 
Webb, appeared the lovely hymns, ' Oh, what the 
joy and the glory must be,' ' Of the Father's love 
begotten,' * Light's abode, celestial Salem,' and 
others now well known. Meanwhile Neale had 
gathered his own translations into a little volume 
called Mediceval Hymns and Sequences, among 
which appeared in 1851 the translation of a 
portion of the rhythm of Bernard de Morlaix, 
from which were taken ' Brief life is here our 



THE HYMNS OF THE OXFORD MOVEMENT 357 

portion,' 'For thee, O dear, dear country,' and 
'Jerusalem the Golden.' In 1858 he translated 
and published the rest of the " Rhythm," excluding 




John Mason Neale. 

the satire with which it begins. But the translations 
from which the largest number of popular hymns 
have been selected are the Hymns of the Eastern 



358 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

Church (1862 and 1866). Neale was the first to 
draw attention to the vast stores of Greek hymnody, 
from which he selected such specimens as ' The 
day is past and over,' * Art thou weary,' ' The Day 
of Resurrection/ ( O, happy band of pilgrims ! ' and 
many others now familiar to us all. Some of 
these are nearly, if not quite, original hymns of 
his own, and contain, it is said, but little trace of 
their Greek parentage. Neale's own hymns were 
some of them very good, and he sang on to the 
last, publishing a little volume on his dying bed. 
His Hymns for Children have not the merit of his 
many tales and legends ; for no one could tell a 
martyr story like him, and he wrote many children's 
books. His learning in hymnology was unrivalled, 
and he may be said almost to have created the 
science of Liturgiology. As life went on, his 
hymns, like his sermons, advanced in beauty and 
spirituality, and the old polemic, who had made 
many foes in his time, but had won much love and 
had done great work for the Church, departed on 
August 6, 1866, in childlike faith and humility. 



JOHN KEBLE AND JOHN HENRY 

NEWMAN 

A STORY is told of William Wilberforce that one 
day in his old age he and his four gifted sons were 
planning a holiday together. It was agreed that 
each of the five should bring to the meeting-place 
fixed upon some new book which might be read 
aloud to the rest of the party. When they met 
together it was found that each of the five had 
brought the same book. It was the Christian Year. 

This is a slight illustration of the deep impression 
which the book produced, almost at its first pub- 
lication, upon the religious mind of England. It 
appeared in June 1827, having been for some years 
in preparation. It was rather a sleepy age for 
English religion. The first group of evangelical 
leaders had most of them passed away, or were 
rapidly passing ; there was no great controversy 
pending. The separation, too, between Church 
and Dissent was growing wider, and the apprecia- 
tion of the Prayer-book and of Church order was 
growing keen and strong among many clergy, who, 
had they lived earlier, would have made light of 
the irregularities of Wesleyan and Calvinistic 
Methodism. A book of lofty and beautiful verse, 
359 



360 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

which glowed with love for the Church and her 
services, and which penetrated so deeply into the 
spiritual life and power of our Prayer-book, was, 
therefore, a gift from God which fell upon soil 
ready to receive it ; and it is no wonder that its 
influence in the Church of England was vast and 
abiding. Ten years before the author's death more 
than a hundred thousand copies had been sold, and 
in the nine months after his death alone more than 
eleven thousand copies. 

John Keble was born on St. Mark's Day, April 
25, 1792, at Fairford, in Gloucestershire. His 
father, himself a John Keble, was Vicar of Coin St. 
Alwins, a small parish about three miles from 
Fairford ; a devout old scholar, one of those who 
kept up the tradition, well-nigh lost at that time, 
of the Ken type of Churchmen. He had himself 
been Fellow of Corpus College, Oxford ; he 
educated his two sons at home, never sending 
them to school, and took his eldest son, John, up 
to Oxford in his fifteenth year to try for a scholar- 
ship in his own old College. The home-bred youth 
carried all before him, took a double first in 1811 
(which, it is said, no one but Sir Robert Peel had 
yet done), and that same year, while only eighteen, 
was elected Fellow of Oriel, at that moment the 
most distinguished College, intellectually, in Oxford. 
Next year he won both the University Essay 
Prizes, and while only just twenty-one was made 
one of the University Examiners. None of these 
honours, however, impaired the simplicity of his 
meek and humble piety. His humility and his 
sanctity deepened year by year. 



JOHN KEBLE 361 

His first curacy was in the parish which will 
ever be associated with his memory, Hursley, in 
Hants ; but on the death of a beloved sister he 
moved to Fairford to cheer the declining years of 
his aged father, whose parish he served as Curate. 
In 1831 he was made Professor of Poetry in 
Oxford, and four years afterwards the death of his 
father set him free to accept the living of Hursley, 
which was now offered him for the second time. 
In 1835 he married, and settled there. He was 
already known half over the world as the Christian 
poet of his time. The holy and beautiful life 
which he and his wife lived together has been well 
drawn for us by loving hands in Sir J. T. 
Coleridge's memoir and in Miss Yonge's Musings 
on the Christian Year. My space will only suffice 
for the mention of his poetical work. In 1839 he 
published a metrical version of the Psalms, a book 
which has never been used for public worship, and 
which was very unduly depreciated on its appear- 
ance, for, as a guide to the true understanding of 
the Psalter, it is, as might be expected, of the 
greatest value. His contributions to the Lyra 
Apostolica will be noticed presently. 

In 1846 appeared the exquisite Lyra Innocentium, 
a lovely study of child life from the pen of a child- 
less man, coloured by the developed teaching of 
the movement of which he was so important a 
part, but now and again attaining to heights of 
spiritual insight even beyond those of the Christian 
Year. It need scarcely be said that neither of these 
books was ever designed for congregational use ; 
but many of the Christian Year verses had found 



362 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

their way into our hymn-books by this time, and 
in 1856 Keble gave assistance to his friend Earl 
Nelson in the compilation of a hymnal for the 
Diocese of Salisbury, of which the first edition, 
called the Salisbury Hymn-book, appeared in 1857. 
The new and larger edition has the somewhat mis- 
leading title of the Sarum Hymnal. For this book 
Keble wrote four original hymns, of which the 
best-known is his marriage-hymn, ' The voice that 
breathed o'er Eden.' He also translated a con- 
siderable number of Latin hymns, and recast some 
older English ones. As a translator, however, he 
does not attain the vigour and spirit of Neale, 
though it need hardly be said that he is most 
accurate and scholarly. He also made his own 
selections from the "Morning" and "Evening" 
verses in the Christian Year, known to all the 
world as 'New every morning is the love/ and 
' Sun of my soul, Thou Saviour dear.' But he 
selected for the former the verse, ' Oh, timely 
happy, timely wise,' and made the latter begin 
with ' When the soft dews of kindly sleep.' The 
beautiful Septuagesima poem, ' There is a book 
who runs may read,' was also inserted in the Salis- 
bury book, as well as one or two others. At an 
earlier period he had written the little-known but 
charming Hymns for Emigrants (1854), and four 
hymns for the Child's Christian Year. Before his 
death he had corrected for the press the ninety- 
sixth edition of the Christian Year. He fell 
asleep at Bournemouth, early in the morning of 
March 29, 1866, followed in six weeks' time by the 
companion of all his joys and sorrows and labours. 



JOHN HENRY NEWMAN 363 

In the days of controversy and reproach through 
which he passed, John Keble was ever loyal and 
faithful to the Church of his baptism. It was 
otherwise with that great man whose name will 
ever be associated with his and Dr. Pusey's in con- 
nection with the Oxford movement. But the loss 




John Henry Newman. 

to the world of Cardinal Newman is too recent for 
me to speak much of his life. My concern here is 
with John Henry Newman as a writer of hymns. 
As I have not dwelt on Keble's other literary 
and theological work, so I must be silent about 
Newman's, 



364 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

John Henry Newman, the son of a London 
banker, was born in London, February 21, 1801. 
From school at Baling he went up to Trinity Col- 
lege, Oxford. He has told us himself with what 
awe he looked at Keble when he was pointed out 
to him in the streets of Oxford shortly after his 
entrance. In 1822 he became Fellow of Oriel, and 
in 1828 Incumbent of St. Mary's, Oxford, which is 
in the gift of his College. There it was that he 
began those marvellous sermons which produced 
so profound an effect on the younger men of his 
University, as they have since on many others. 
After writing the Arians of the Fourth Century he 
took a voyage in the winter of 1832, accompanied 
by Richard Hurrell Froude, a pupil of Keble's. 
By this time the foundations of the " Movement of 
1833," as it'is sometimes called, had been laid. Its 
history has now come to us from various sources 
from Newman's own pen, and last, though not 
least, from the interesting volume of him whom we 
have recently lost, Dean Church. I am only con- 
cerned here with its bearing on hymnody. All 
through his foreign tour Newman was writing 
verses, pouring out his thoughts upon the Church 
and its faith, and the " work " before him. He was 
becalmed off Sardinia for some days on his way 
home from Sicily in June, 1833, and many of his 
finest poems are the fruit of those days ; among 
them, 'Lead, kindly Light/ written June 16, 1833. 
This was included with many others, beginning 
with 1829, in a volume called Lyra Apostolica. 
Most of them, if not all, appeared in the British 
Magazine, but they were collected in 1836. The 



JOHN HENRY NEWMAN 365 

writers were designated by letters of the Greek 
alphabet. They were John Bowden, Hurrell 
Froude, Keble, Newman, Robert Wilberforce, and 
Isaac Williams. Williams's are the most numerous, 
Keble's, and above all Newman's, the most import- 
ant. It seems almost accidental that ' Lead, kindly 
Light,' beautiful and significant as it is, should have 
been the one which has found its way into all 
hymn-books. Two or three others of Newman's 
are, in my judgment, quite equal to it, especially 
' Lord, in this dust Thy sovereign voice,' written in 
1829. Only one of Keble's poems in the volume 
has reached our hymn-books, his fine translation 
of the old Alexandrian 'Candlelight hymn/ * Hail, 
gladdening Light ! ' It is Keble's best translation. 
Newman in after years translated several ancient 
hymns, especially those for the Hours, some of 
which (with alterations) appear in Hymns Ancient 
and Modern. Newman was received into the 
Church of Rome in 1845. His wonderful poem 
on the Intermediate State, the " Dream of Geron- 
tius," was written in January 1865. From it has 
been taken one of the choruses, 'Praise to the 
Holiest in the height,' a truly magnificent hymn 
on the Fall and Redemption of Man. The great 
Cardinal passed away August n, i; 



EDWARD CASWALL AND FREDERICK 
WILLIAM FABER 

THE ten years which followed 1840 were especially 
the years of secession to the Church of Rome, on 
the part chiefly of the extreme wing of the Oxford 
movement. The seceders were mostly young and 
ardent men, some of them, like Ward and Oakeley, 
of brilliant attainments. But, with the exception 
of John Henry Newman (and one living name, 
which will occur to all, but which belongs to a 
secession of somewhat later date), it can scarcely 
be said that they contributed much to the strength 
of the Church of their adoption. On the other 
hand, those who remained faithful to the Church 
of their baptism have lived to see her all the stronger 
and richer for the loss of some who were not in 

* 

true harmony with her. Still, it is undeniable that 
those who joined the Church of Rome brought 
with them an energy of service and a fervour of 
devotion which showed itself in art and letters as 
well as in theology. It was to be expected, then, 
that the innovators would influence, among other 
things, hymnology. Following the precedents set 
in France, Italy, and Germany, they broke through 
the circle of Latin Breviary hymns, and appealed 
366 



EDWARD CASWALL 



boldly to popular taste in a new Anglo-Roman 
hymnody. The characteristic names of this 
movement were Edward Caswall, and, above all, 
Frederick William Faber. 

Edward Caswall was one of the younger sons of 




Edward Caswall. 

a Hampshire vicar. He was born at his father's 
parsonage, at Yateley, Hants, in July 1814. He 
went up to Brasenose in 1832, and took his degree 
in 1836. He held for a time a small incumbency 
near Salisbury, married, resigned his living in 1846, 
and was received into the Church of Rome in 1850. 



368 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

He had lost his wife the previous year, and now 
(1850) he became an Oratorian at Birmingham, 
under Dr. Newman, with whom he remained in 
close alliance and friendship till his death in 
1878. 

The best of Caswall's hymns are his translations ; 
and these were chiefly made just before his 
secession. Most of them appeared in his Lyra 
Catholica in 1849. They are less careful and 
accurate than Neale's, but there is great spirit and 
facility in many of them, and they go well to 
modern tunes. Thus his translation of St. Bernard's 
famous hymn, 'Jesu, the very thought of Thee/ 
though really inferior to Neale's (who, however, 
only translated a few verses), is sung five or six 
times as often. 'The sun is sinking fast' and 
' Glory be to Jesus ' are later translations. The 
best known probably of his original hymns, ' Days 
and moments quickly flying,' has, I think, become 
popular mainly through Dr. Dykes' fine tune. 
The strange Calvinist refrain, 'As the tree falls,' 
added from another hymn of Caswall's, has in the 
later edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern been 
wisely superseded. His translation of St. Francis 
Xavier's hymn, ' My God, I love Thee,' does not 
do justice to the original ; but as the only form in 
which this most striking hymn is known to most 
English readers, it has gained a wide popularity. 

Henry Collins, whose faith failed him during the 
troubles which marked the early days of his work 
in Charles Lowder's mission to the East End, has 
left behind him two striking hymns, ' Jesus, meek 
and lowly,' and ' Jesu, my Lord, my God, my all.' 



FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER 369 

To Frederick Oakeley we owe the popular version of 
Adeste fideles, ( O come, all ye faithful/ inserted in 
Hymns Ancient and Modern. 

But the most interesting figure, and the most 
influential as a hymn-writer of all the converts to 
Rome, is undoubtedly Frederick William Faber. 
He was born at Calverley Vicarage, in the Aire 
Valley, between Leeds and Bradford, being the 
grandson of the vicar. In his infancy his family re- 
moved to Bishop Auckland, on his father, a layman, 
being made secretary to Bishop Barrington, of 
Durham. His first school was at Auckland ; he was 
afterwards sent successively to Kirkby Stephen, 
Shrewsbury, and Harrow. From Harrow he went 
up to Balliol, matriculating in 1832. He soon made 
his mark, being made scholar of University College 
in 1834, and winning the Newdigate in 1836 for 
a poem on the " Knights of St. John." In 1837 ne 
was chosen fellow of his college, and won the 
Johnson Theological Scholarship. The long vaca- 
tion of that year was memorable to him. He spent 
it with pupils at Ambleside, and there made the 
acquaintance of Wordsworth. The exquisite poem, 
" To a Lake Party," was his farewell to his pupils 
when term time came. In the August of this year 
he was ordained deacon at Ripon, and came back 
to help the Vicar of Ambleside. He was much 
there during the next two years, living as private 
tutor at Green Bank, Ambleside, taking long walks 
with Wordsworth, writing much poetry, and preach- 
ing occasionally sermons which deeply impressed 
those who heard them, and copies of which are still 
tenderly cherished by the few who possess them. 

A A 



370 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

In 1839 Wordsworth came up to Oxford to receive 
an honorary degree at Commemoration, and was 
the guest of Faber, who introduced him to John 
Keble. Keble's Latin oration in the theatre con- 
tained a noble eulogy of the great poet, who was 
deeply gratified by his reception. 

In 1841 Faber was for some months in France 
and Italy, and published the following year his 
Sights and Thoughts in Foreign Countries, a suf- 
ficiently startling book in its undisguised sympathy 
with the Church of Rome. He soon left Ambleside, 
and accepted in 1843 tne Rectory of Elton, in 
Huntingdonshire ; and three years afterwards, 
November 16, 1845, he was received into the 
Church of Rome. He had previously written a 
life of St. Wilfrid of York, for Newman's series of 
Lives of the English Saints, and, on his change of 
religion, he at first attempted to found a new com- 
munity of " Brothers of the will of God," of which 
St. Wilfrid was supposed to be the Patron Saint. 
But in 1848 he joined the Oratorians at Oscott 
under Newman, and the next year removed to the 
London branch of the community, with whom he 
continued, at the now well-known " Brompton 
Oratory," till his death on September 26, 1863. 

Faber published many devotional works after his 
secession, with which we are not here concerned. But 
they have the same characteristics as his hymns. 
They are full of noble passages, and often show 
deep insight into the secrets of the human heart ; 
but they, are curiously wanting in the sense of 
proportion, their emotionalism is at times all but 
hysterical. The extravagances of popular Con- 



FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER 3/1 

* 

tinental Romanism, which are generally kept in the 
background by sober English Roman Catholics, are 
just what Faber delights to display and to insist 
upon. Those who know Faber's hymns only 
through a carefully prepared selection, and have 




Fredei'ick William Faber. 

learned to admire and delight in the series on 
prayer, those on the Holy Trinity, and the Spiritual 
Life, and a few more, had better not desire to see 
the complete collection. His first hymns were a 
few written for the Oratory in 1848, added to in 
1849 and 1852 with the title, "Jesus and Mary/' 



3/2 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

followed by the Oratory Hymn-book in 1854. They 
were avowedly written to compete with Dissenting 
and other Protestant hymns ; and many of them 
(such as ' O Paradise ' and ' Hark, hark, my soul ') 
introduced the " refrain " which modern Revivalist 
hymnody has since made popular. In 1862 he 
published a complete collection of his hymns 
divided into seven parts. He limited their number 
to 150, as being the number of the Psalms. 

Roman as they are, nearly all English-speaking 
congregations have accepted Faber's hymns, of 
course with prudent omissions and alterations. 
Grave critics have rebelled against them, but all in 
vain. It is useless to say that ' O Paradise ' con- 
tains weak and effeminate lines ; the people assent 
and sing on, and after all one is glad that some of 
them learn for the first time that there is such a 
place as Paradise. We inquire in vain into the 
meaning of the ' Pilgrims of the Night ; ' congrega- 
tions are carried away by the rhythm and the 
musical ring of the lines. Happily there are better 
things than these in Faber. ' I was wandering and 
weary ; ' ' O come to the merciful Saviour ; ' ' Souls 
of men ;' ' We came to Thee, sweet Saviour ; ' and 
others, are most telling in mission services. ' Sweet 
Saviour, bless us ere we go ' (duly altered) ranks 
among our favourite evening hymns ; while as to the 
spiritual value of some of the more chastened and 
sober hymns on God the Father and the Spiritual 
Life, the ' Gifts of God,' the ' Eternal Years/ the 
' Shore of Eternity,' the series on prayer, and most 
of those on Death, these are treasures of Christian 
thought and spiritual comfort which can never die. 



FREDERICK WILLIAM FABER 373 

In reading them one can understand the attraction 
which the warm-hearted, lofty-minded, emotional 
young poet must have had for his mighty master 
at Rydal ; and one can but regret all the more 
deeply the alloy of foolishness and superstition 
which in after time mingled with the gold of his 
devout and elevated thoughts. 



CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH AND 
HORATIUS BONAR 

As these papers draw to a close, the press of 
names worthy of note in modern English hymnody 
becomes embarrassing. I feel almost sure that at 
every turn some reader will think me strangely blind 
to the merits of some favourite hymn or author, 
simply because I am obliged here to select repre- 
sentative names. I ought not to pass unnoticed 
such men as John Samuel Monsell, whose warm 
and loving devoutness so often is counter-balanced 
by his incorrectness ; Henry Alford, Dean of 
Canterbury, whose harvest hymn, ' Come, ye 
thankful people, come,' is the best of our " In- 
gathering " songs ; or one yet more recently lost, 
but whom English hymn-singers will never forget 
Henry Williams Baker. But I must confine 
myself to two names, one from the heart of our 
English Church, one from among our Presbyterian 
brothers across the Tweed. 

Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, is 
one of whom we certainly do not first think as a 
writer of hymns, but as a great scholar, a diligent 
and careful expositor, an accurate theologian and 
controversialist, a great and wise ruler in the 
374 



CHRISTOPHER WORDSWORTH 



375 



Church, and a most holy, humble, loving, self- 
denying man. And the man is reflected in his 
verse. To read one of his best hymns is like 




Christopher Wordsworth. 

looking into a plain face, without one striking 
feature, but with an irresistible charm of honesty, 
intelligence, and affection. Take, for instance, his 
Offertory Hymn, 'O Lord of heaven, and earth, 



3/6 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

and sea.' It is not in the least poetical ; it is full 
of halting verses and prosaic lines. And yet it is 
such true praise, so genuine, so comprehensive, so 
heartfelt, that we forget its homeliness. 

The good Bishop was the son of another Chris- 
topher Wordsworth, Master of Trinity College, 
Cambridge, and brother of the great poet. He 
was born October 30, 1807, was trained at Win- 
chester, took a brilliant degree at Cambridge in 
1830, and was made Fellow of Trinity almost 
immediately. From 1836 to 1844 he was Head 
Master of Harrow. In that year he was appointed 
Canon of Westminster, and while holding that 
office he began to write his Holy Year, which was 
published as a collection for Church use in Lent, 
1862. Of its 200 hymns the first 117 were his 
own. He prefaced it with a really remarkable 
critical essay on hymns, full of learning and 
wisdom, but with scarcely one single note of 
sympathy with existing English hymnody. He 
added a few more hymns subsequently, but, having 
laid down his canons and made his protest, he left 
the book to become a literary curiosity. He was 
cheered, however, by the warmth with which the 
few tuneful hymns it contained soon began to be 
received ; and these few have been stored up in 
the permanent treasury of the Church of England. 
Dr. Wordsworth was appointed to the see of 
Lincoln in November 1868, and administered it 
in a way which won the reverence and love of all 
good men till he entered into rest in 1885. We 
pass into a very different atmosphere. 

Horatius Bonar was one of a group of men who 



IIORATIUS BONAR 



377 



were called in God's Providence to carry out a 
remarkable revival of spiritual life in the heart 
of Scottish Presbyterianism. His father, James 




Iloratius Bonar. 

Bonar, was an Edinburgh solicitor, and a great 
philologist. A " holy ancestry " and " godly parent- 
age " were among the gifts for which' he blessed 



378 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

God in his memorial hymn. He was " a child of 
the city," born in Edinburgh December 19, 1808. 
His father was a strict religious man, but " it was 
at their mother's knee that he and his brothers 
learnt their first and perhaps most abiding lessons 
in the faith." He was educated at the University 
o'f Edinburgh, and in due time licensed as a 
preacher. He and his friends early began mission 
work in the courts and alleys of Edinburgh and 
Leith. Leith was the special scene of " Horace's " 
work. He preached in a mission hall there, and 
began writing hymns for those whom he gathered 
in. His first was, ' I was a wandering sheep ; ' his 
second, * I lay my sins on Jesus ; ' his third, * A 
few more years shall roll.' 

In November 1837 ne was called to be minister 
of the " North Parish," in the beautiful old border- 
town of Kelso, and there, by the swift-rushing 
Tweed, and amidst the green woods of Floors, he 
poured out his gift of song from a full heart, while 
for nearly thirty years he worked and prayed with 
loving energy. He and his two brothers organized 
a kind of order of " Border Evangelists " to carry 
on mission work among the dales. He was in 
touch with all that was most living and earnest in 
the Church of his fathers. He took a keen interest 
in the controversies which ended in 1843 in the 
memorable Disruption. He and his brothers, and 
most of their personal friends, followed Chalmers 
and Candlish in the great exodus from St. Andrew's 
Church, which Jeffrey watched with amazement. 
They became the founders of the " Free Church of 
Scotland." Most of them had to give up home 



IIORATIUS BONAR 379 

and parish. Horatius Bonar, however, was enabled 
to retain possession of his church in Kelso, where, 
as he himself said, he had found " plenty of work, 
plenty of workmen, and plenty of sympathy." At 
length, in 1866, he returned to his native Edinburgh 
to become the minister of a new church, built as a 
memorial to Dr. Chalmers, in Grange, one of the 
suburbs of the city. He often visited London, 
taking part in the annual conference at Mildmay 
Park. He died July 31, 1889, at the good old age 
of eighty-one. 

His own favourites among his hymns were the 
beautiful one for the dedication of a church, * When 
the weary seeking rest ;' and that pearl of hymns, 
' I heard the voice of Jesus say,' which Bishop 
Fraser of Manchester ranked above every other 
in the language. But Bonar's seven volumes 
contain many a less known gem of Christian 
" faith and hope," and there is no more striking 
testimony to his power as a " sweet singer," than 
the very remarkable change which, during his 
lifetime, passed over the whole of Scotland in the 
matter of hymnody. Forty years ago, every 
Presbyterian congregation, of whatever denomin- 
ation, clung to the old Scottish national Psalms 
and Paraphrases with a tenacity which seemed as 
if it could never be shaken. The Psalms were 
endeared to high and low, rich and poor, through- 
out the land. No doubt they are still sung in all 
their quaintness and force in many a country 
congregation ; but from the towns they have 
almost wholly disappeared. Each of the great 
Presbyterian bodies, the Established Church, the 



380 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

Free, the United Presbyterians, and the English 
Presbyterians, has its own authorized hymn-book, 
compiled by its own members ; and the use of 
hymns in congregations has become practically 
universal. Many regret the old ; some, like the 
gifted Robertson of Irvine, thought the new 
comparatively weak and poor, though he himself 
largely contributed to swell the tide of change, 
but there can be no doubt that Scottish devotion 
has gained much in breadth, colour, and heartiness ; 
and it is scarcely too much to say that this great 
change is, in large measure, due to the silent 
leavening of the taste of religious Scotland by the 
hymns of Horatius Bonar. I do not know, indeed, 
whether he took any part at all in compiling any 
of the new hymn-books ; I do not know whether 
he personally approved of the beautiful and spiritual 
volume which his own denomination has compiled ; 
but I do say that the " new wine " of the Hymns 
of Faith and Hope has enriched the blood of all 
religious Scotland, and made it impossible for her 
to rest content with the merely veiled and indirect 
praise of her Risen and Ascended Lord which was 
all that her old Psalmody allowed her. Her heart 
grew hot within her, and at last she spake with her 
tongue, in new and freer accents of praise. The 
change is significant of much which is beyond the 
province of these articles ; much which may need 
anxious watching and prayer. But may it not be 
significant, too, of a growing unity among some 
hearts long saddened ? may it not be one of the faint 
and far " preludings " of that " burst of song " which 
shall usher in the day for which we wait and hope ? 



CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT AND FRANCES 
RIDLEY HAVERGAL 

WE must not close these notices of our hymn 
writers without a reference to the share of Christian 
women in the work of supplying the materials for 
sacred song. 

We need not dwell upon the hymns written by 
Christian women in the last century and the earlier 
years of this. But Anne Steele, Anna Barbauld, 
Sarah Adams, and Alice Flowerdew (surely pre- 
destined by her very name to write a harvest 
hymn ! ) are still represented in our best collections. 
Of Harriet Auber we have already spoken. Anne 
and Jane Taylor of Ongar will always rank among 
the pioneers of children's hymnody. Their hymns 
have been too much overlooked of late years. 
Jemima Luke will be remembered by the ' Sweet 
Story of Old.' Anne Mozley, the gifted sister of 
Cardinal Newman, has left us a lovely children's 
litany, ' By Thy birth, O Lord of all.' 

But of all the " daughters of the Magnificat" 
those who have made the most profound impres- 
sion on our own time are the two whose names 
appear at the head of this article. 

Charlotte Elliott was the sister of two well-known 
381 



382 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

clergymen, Henry Venn Elliott, of St. Mary's, 
Brighton, and Edward B. Elliott, whose book on 
the Revelation, Horce Apocalypticce, was once ex- 
ceedingly popular, though, like many commentaries 
which looked into futurity, it has been in great 
measure obliterated now by the stern logic of 
events. Charlotte was born in 1789. A severe 
illness in 1821 left her a confirmed invalid. The 
following year she formed a friendship which was 
to leave a permanent influence both on her writings 
and her life ; she was introduced to Cesar Malan, 
of Geneva, one of the leaders of what was then the 
new Evangelical movement among the Reformed 
Churches of France and Switzerland, and one of 
the most prolific of modern French hymn-writers. 

This excellent man had many English friends 
and much sympathy with our Church ; he trans- 
lated into French more than one of our best-known 
hymns. A small volume was printed privately in 
1834 (afterwards published), called the Invalid's 
Hymn-book. To this Miss Elliott contributed an 
appendix containing twenty-three hymns of her 
own, among them the first draft of one by which 
she has since become known to hundreds of thou- 
sands, ' My God, my Father, while I stray.' This 
hymn she recast two or three times, altering among 
other lines the first. Two years later, 1836, she 
published Hours of Sorroiv Cheered and Comforted, 
containing the greatest of all her hymns, 'Just as I 
am.' This hymn is said to have been translated 
into more languages than any other ; it is perhaps 
even more popular on the Continent of Europe 
than with ourselves ; but it certainly takes rank 



CHARLOTTE ELLIOTT 383 

with ' Rock of Ages ' and ' Abide with me/ as 
among the hymns which have left the deepest 
impression upon the English religious mind, in its 
earnest and true expression, without any qualifying 




Charlotte Elliott. 

or compromising phrases, of entire consecration to 
our Lord, and absolute trust in Him. Another 
admirable hymn of Miss Elliott's, ' Christian, seek 
not yet repose/ appears as the Wednesday morn- 
ing hymn in a beautiful little volume of hers, 



384 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

Hymns for a Week. To have written three such 
hymns as these entitles her indeed to take a front 
rank among the Christian singers of the world. 
Miss Elliott died at Brighton, September 22, 1871. 
The gift of sacred song, it may be mentioned, has 
not departed from a younger generation of the 
family to which she belonged. 

Frances Ridley Havergal virtually belongs to 
our own generation, for she was only forty-two 
when she was called home in 1879. She was, as it 
were, born in an atmosphere of hymns. She was 
the daughter of one hymn-writer, William Henry 
Havergal, and was baptized by another, John 
Cawood, of Bewdley. Her father held a country 
rectory in Worcestershire, and removed thence in 
1845 to the city of Worcester, where he became 
incumbent of St. Nicholas, and became known both 
as a composer of hymn-tunes and as a critic with a 
special knowledge of the history of our Metrical 
Psalmody. Frances was his youngest child ; her 
second name, Ridley, was derived from her saintly 
godfather, W. H. Ridley, vicar of Hambleden, 
Berks, whose well-known little books on Confirm- 
ation and Holy Communion are probably the 
very best ever written on these subjects for the 
country poor. The >ecord of Frances Havergal's 
holy life has been compiled, largely from her own 
reminiscences and letters, by her sister Maria, who 
has since followed her. There are, so to speak, no 
events in it. She lost her mother in childhood. 
She published two volumes of verse Under the 
Surface, and The Ministry of Song and many 
other booklets and leaflets. She was constantly 



FRANCES RIDLEY HAVERGAL 385 

writing hymns. She was joint editor of a collection 
called Songs of Grace and Glory, but it took no 
permanent hold on the Church. But her real life 
was a life of personal, spiritual influence upon 
others. She lived habitually in an atmosphere of 




Frances Ridley Havergal. 

perfect love and entire consecration to God, of 
which one reads with awe ; but her high ideal was 
consistent with the warmest human affection for a 
large circle of friends, and with the most perfect, 
unaffected, child-like simplicity and sincerity. It is 

B B 



386 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

too soon to estimate which of her numerous hymns 
will live on to another generation, yet there are 
some which we are sure must be remembered. 
Many of them cover the same ground ; consecra- 
tion of the life to God is their most frequent sub- 
ject, as in the most solemn ' Take my life/ 
Another, of peculiar power and reality written as 
a motto beneath a German print of the Crucifixion, 
begins in its original form, ' I gave My life for thee.' 
So little did she esteem it that she threw it into 
the fire in turning out an old desk. She consented, 
however, to recast it for the S. P. C. K., and in its 
present form, ' Thy life was given for me,' it has 
already become dear to thousands who know per- 
haps little of her other hymns. Her hymns for 
workers, too, such as, ' Lord, speak to me that I 
may speak,' and 'Jesus, Master, Whom I serve,' 
are the reflection of a life which to the last was 
spent in " service." Her beautiful Ascension hymn 
for children, * Golden harps are sounding/ written 
for one of her father's tunes, embodies the leading 
thought which dominated her life. Christ was her 
King, she loved to call Him so ; loving, loyal 
service for Him in every way was the law of her 
life. 



HORATIUS BONAR AND HIS HYMNS 

CHRISTIAN congregations, wherever the English 
tongue is spoken, felt, on receiving the announce- 
ment that Horatius Bonar had entered into rest, 
at the ripe age of eighty-one, that the Church 
militant had been bereaved of one of her sweetest 
singers. With how many of the most sacred times 
of our lives have his words been associated ! As I 
write, a scene in a village churchyard many years 
ago rises before my eyes. It was the funeral of a 
poor lad, one of my own flock, who had been 
drowned while bathing on his way to work on an 
autumn morning. His remains had been reverently 
and lovingly tended by the members of a little 
community whose house was on the bank of the 
river half-a-mile off. He was laid to rest just at 
sunset, with, of course, a large gathering of his 
mates and neighbours. And as the words of the 
Burial Office died away, and the last gleam of 
parting day tinged with pale gold the line of low 
wooded* hills behind the church tower, the brothers 
and their choir began the hymn, 'A few more 
years shall roll.' How the words came home to 
every heart in their solemn reality 

" A few more suns shall set 

O'er these dark hills of time, 
And we shall be where suns are not 
A far serener clime." 
387 



388 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

How often since has that solemn hymn closed our 
services on New Year's Eve, each time with a fresh 
impression of its deep reality! And this is the 
quality of all Bonar's verse. It is sometimes trite 
and commonplace. It is sometimes unpoetical. 
He often repeats himself. His range of vision is 
limited. His views are those of a plain Scotch 
Calvinistic Evangelical and a Millenarian. But he 
is a believer. He speaks of that which he knows ; 
of Him whom he loves, and whom, God be praised, 
he now sees at last, for whose coming he looked 
and waited. And, therefore, his hymns have in 
them the power which belongs to one to whom to 
live was Christ. They are, indeed, what he called 
them, ' Hymns of Faith and Hope.' 

Bonar was one of a remarkable group of 
young Scotchmen to whom it was given fifty years 
ago to rekindle the dying fire of spiritual life in 
the respectable but dull and lifeless Established 
Church. Foremost among them was the saintly 
and eloquent Robert Murray McCheyne, also a 
hymn-writer, whose words I have found this week, 
as I have often done before, to give peace and 
comfort by a sick bed ; the two brothers Burns, 
Andrew and Islay, the former a mission-preacher 
to be compared in power only to Whitefield 
himself; the latter, the scholar of the group, 
McCheyne's successor, afterwards for many years 
Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Glasgow, 
a man of rare learning, deep piety, and most 
large-hearted charity; John Milne of Perth, and 
" Horace's " brother, Andrew Bonar of Collace, 
whose commentary on Leviticus is still a most 
valuable and interesting exposition of the symbol- 



HORATIUS BONAR AND HIS HYMNS 389 

ism of the Mosaic ritual, and whose Life of 
McCheyne has inspired the zeal of many a young 
minister to tread in his steps. Every one of these 
was a remarkable man. Every one had to endure 
the ridicule, opposition, and misinterpretation 
which is the lot of all reformers, and which doubt- 
less, like all reformers, they did something to 
provoke. Every one, except McCheyne (who did 
not live to see it), " went out " from St. Andrew's 
Church with Chalmers and Candlish on the memor- 
able "Disruption Day" in 1843; an d every one, I 
believe, took part in the formation of the Free 
Church of Scotland. Horatius Bonar, who had 
been minister of what is oddly called in Scotland a 
" quoad sacra " Church (that is, an ecclesiastical 
district) in Kelso, soon found himself the minister 
of a new church there, formed doubtless in great 
measure of the members of his old congregation. 
There, amid the green braes and haughs, by the 
side of the swift-rushing Tweed, or in the woods of 
Floors, or under the shadow of the grey Abbey tower, 
many of his most touching verses were written, and 
many of his happiest years passed. But, as he said of 
himself, in one of his most striking poems, he knew 
and loved and clung to the City. And his latter 
years were spent in Edinburgh. Nor was he un- 
known in London, where his venerable form might 
often be seen sometimes presiding at the meetings 
of the " Mildmay Conference " in June, especially 
when some subject connected with prophecy or 
eschatology was discussed. 

I have always thought his first volume of hymns 
contained the choicest the first crush of the grape. 
The very earliest, 'Divine Order,' John Keble's 



390 FAVOURITE HYMNS AND THEIR AUTHORS 

great favourite is perhaps his most perfect poem. 
But among others in this volume are the great 
Advent hymns, ' Come, Lord, and tarry not,' ' A 
few more years shall roll/ ' The Church has waited 
long,' and 'Far down the ages now.' It contains 
also * I was a wandering sheep/ ' I lay my sins 
on Jesus/ ' Calm me, my God, and keep me calm/ 
' Thy way, not mine, O Lord/ ' Go, labour on/ and, 
loveliest of all, 'I heard the voice of Jesus say/ 
The second series contains that very noble, but 
less known hymn, { O love of God, how strong and 
true/ also ' O Everlasting Light/ and the rapturous 
' Heaven at last/ often attributed to Faber. The 
third contains the lovely hymn for the dedication 
of a church, ' When the weary, seeking rest/ which 
Sir John Stainer has recently wedded to music not 
unworthy of it. 

These titles alone will show both the range and 
the limitations of Bonar's gift of song. As he grew 
in years, he drew more inspiration from the Church 
songs of the past, some of which he has successfully 
translated ; and yet more from his knowledge of 
Bible lands, their scenery and their associations. 
But from first to last there is a unity about his 
work. He never imitated, never affected to be 
what he was not. He is always the Presbyterian, 
Bible loving, uncompromising, unmistakable in his 
principles, his views, his very prejudices. But he 
is, more and more, the holy singer, inspired by the 
Spirit of Christ, steeped in love to Christ, at one 
with all, of all Churches, who love and own the 
same Lord, " both theirs and ours." Let us bless 
God for one more departed in His faith and fear. 



SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 



SOME FAMOUS EASTER HYMNS 

As the greatest and oldest of Christian festivals, 
Easter has, as might have been expected, wakened 
the voice of Christian song in many lands and in 
every age of the Church. Hence it is that there 
have been an unusual number of Easter hymns 
which from time to time have acquired popularity, 
and that although some of these are now forgotten, 
there are not a few which, in the hymnals compiled 
of late years in England (such as Hymns Ancient 
and Modern, Church Hymns, and the Hymnal 
Companion of Bishop Bickersteth), have recovered 
their ancient place in the affections of Church 
people, and bid fair to be welcomed for generations 
to come. It may interest my readers to hear of a 
few of these more famous Easter hymns of the 
Church. 

The vast collections of hymns of the Greek- 
speaking Churches, of which all but a few are 
unknown to English readers, have yielded two 
Easter hymns to our modern collections, viz. c The 
Day of Resurrection' (H. A. M.; C. H. ; H. Q, 
and ' Come, ye faithful, raise the strain ' (H. A. M. ; 



392 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

C. //.). Both these are translated by Dr. Neale 
(in his Hymns of the Eastern Church), and both 
are by the same author, St. John of Damascus, 
a Christian poet and philosopher of the eighth 
century, who ended his days in the monastery of 
Mar Saba, near the Dead Sea ; and who is, as all 
have agreed, the greatest of Greek hymn-writers. 
Of St. John's two hymns it is especially the first 
which may claim notice as one of the famous 
hymns of the world, the series (for Easter morning) 
to which it belongs being called the " Golden 
Canon," and sung throughout the Greek Churches 
as the opening hymn for Easter-day. A " Canon " 
in the Greek service-books is the name applied to 
a series of hymns, sung in a certain invariable 
order, and governed by fixed rules, during Matins 
on certain days. The second of our Greek hymns, 
also by St. John of Damascus, is part of a 
" Canon " for Low Sunday, or, as the Greeks call 
it, St. Thomas's Sunday. 

It need hardly be said that these Greek hymns 
were quite unknown to our own fathers ; nor is it 
likely that more than a few versions, turned into 
metre, or fragments from among them, will find 
their way into our hymn-books. We are far more 
at home in the West with the hymns of the Latin- 
speaking Churches, the true progenitors of our 
own, as the Latin services are (on the whole) of 
our Book of Common Prayer. The old English 
rule for some centuries was that no hymns were 
sung in the Offices for the Hours on Easter-day 
itself. But the great service for the day opened 
(after the singing of ' Christ being raised from the 






SOME FAMOUS EASTER HYMNS 393 

dead,' etc.) with the splendid processional of 
Fortunatus, ' Salve Festa dies/ probably for many 
centuries the most popular Easter hymn in the 
world. It was translated by Cranmer, and his 
design was to print it after the Litany, as a special 
hymn for Easter ; but his translation is now lost. 
It has become known in late years through more 
than one translation, ' Welcome, happy morning ' 
(H. A. M., C. H., and H. Q, and has recently 
acquired new popularity, in London especially, 
through Mr. Baden Powell's fine tune to a version 
(I believe by Mr. Chambers *), * Hail, festal day, for 
evermore adored.' The original is probably the 
finest processional hymn in the world. There are 
in the York Processional imitations of it for 
Ascension, and for a Church Dedication. Each 
day in Easter week had its own " sequence " hymn 
in the Sarum Missal ; the best known of these is 
the ' Victimae Paschali,' of which a free version is 
in H. A. M. 131. This was long sung by the 
Lutherans, and in some German hymn-books is 
still printed in the original Latin. Of the other 
Latin Easter hymns, the most famous were the 
following : 'Ad ccenam Agni,' of which H. A. M. 
has two versions, 127 and 128 ; the former a fine 
one, by Mr. Campbell, also in C. H., translated 
from the modern Roman version of this hymn ; 
the latter reproducing nearly all its original quaint- 
ness. It was originally a hymn to be sung by the 
newly baptized in their white dresses, on the first 
Sunday after Easter. 'Aurora lucis rutilat/ a 
very fine hymn in three parts, is in H. A. M. 126, 
1 Signed " W. A." in Lyra Eucharistica (Julian). 



394 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

and a version of the first part, by Dr. Hort, in 
C. H. 130. Both these hymns are, at latest, of 
the sixth century; they are sometimes called St. 
Ambrose's, and, at any rate, belong to his school. 
The hymn for the eves of Sundays in Easter, ' Ye 
choirs of new Jerusalem' (H. A. M. 125), is attri- 
buted to a French bishop, St. Fulbert of Chartres, 
of the eleventh century. ' The strife is o'er ' (' Finita 
jam sunt praelia') is referred by Dr. Neale to the 
thirteenth century. It is in H. A. M., C. H., and 
H. C. 

The Reformation, as every one knows, divided 
the Reformed Communions into psalm-singing and 
hymn-singing bodies. Till early in the present 
century no hymns were sung in our churches, and 
at Easter it was the fashion to use the very tame 
and prosaic paraphrases of the Easter Anthems, 
which had found their way to the end of the New 
Version of Psalms. There was, however, one 
singular and important exception, the familiar 
' Jesus Christ is risen to-day Alleluia ! ' Its 
origin was for a long time unknown ; and it is still 
impossible to discover under what circumstances it 
attained its unique position. The original is an 
Easter carol of the fourteenth century still ex- 
isting at Munich, apparently written in imitation 
of the famous Christmas carol ' Puer natus in 
Bethlehem/ l A translation of a portion of this in 
three verses appeared in English in a book of 
sacred melodies called Lyra Davidica, in 1708. 
From this translation our present first verse is 
1 See, however, Diet, of Hymnology, p. 596 ii., where the 
original is given as Surrexit Christus hodie. H. H. 



SOME FAMOUS EASTER HYMNS 395 

taken. The second and third verses, however, 
were replaced in 1749 (in Arnold's Compleat 
Psalmodisf] by the two with which we are all 
familiar, which, though in no sense a translation of 
the old carol, breathe the same spirit, and have 
made the whole into a good hymn. The tune, 
commonly attributed to Dr. Worgan (but published 
before his birth), was thought by Sir John Goss to 
be by the celebrated Henry Carey; possibly he 
also translated the words. 

Germany, the land of vernacular hymns, pro- 
duced many Easter hymns. The grandest of all 
these was Luther's own, far less known in England 
than it deserves ; it was the first German hymn 
ever translated into English (by Myles Coverdale, 
the reforming Bishop of Exeter, under Henry 
VIII.). About thirty years ago a fine version by 
the late Mr. Massie was inserted in Mercer's 
Hymn-book, with the chorale to which it is usually 
sung ; an abbreviated version of the hymn (' Christ 
Jesus lay in death's strong bonds') is in Church 
Hymns, 129. There is a still earlier hymn, a recast 
of an old Bohemian hymn ('Christus ist erstan- 
den '), which, through Miss Winkworth's version, 
' Christ the Lord is risen again ' (H. A. M. and 
C. H.) is happily now well known and loved. One 
other German Easter hymn may be mentioned, 
the lovely 'Jesus lives ' (H. A. M. ; C. H. ; H. ), 
of Christian Gellert, the saintly old Professor at 
Leipsic (d. 1769), the teacher of Lessing and 
Goethe. 

The most famous Easter hymn of purely English 
origin is probably Charles Wesley's ' Christ the 



396 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

Lord is risen to-day' (C. H. and H. C. 210), one 
of the same set with his better-known Christmas 
and Ascension hymns. It is a pity it has not 
found a place beside these in Hymns Ancient 
and Modern, as well as the little-known but very 
striking Epiphany hymn in the same series. They 
appeared in 1739. It is too soon to say whether 
any later hymns will grow to be famous. But 
there are one or two, such as Bishop Wordsworth's 
florid but stately ' Alleluia ! Alleluia ! hearts to 
heaven and voices raise' (H. A. M. and C. //".), 
and Mr. Chatterton Dix's 'Alleluia ! sing to Jesus' 
(H. A. M. and C. H.), which bid fair to take root 
among us ; to which I feel strongly disposed to 
add one by Mrs. Cousin in a Scotch book, * To 
Thee, and to Thy Christ, O God,' Mr. Baring 
Gould's touching ' On the Resurrection morning ' 
(//. A. M. and C. //.), and ' O Voice of the Beloved ' 
(for Easter Monday), by the late Vicar of Settle, 
Mr. Jackson Mason, a "sweet singer" too early 
lost to the Church, all of them likely to become 
better known and loved ere long. 

The list ought not to close without the mention 
of One hymn, which though not formally an Easter 
hymn, is so full of Easter teaching and spirit as to 
form a noble close to the services of the " Day 
of Days/' namely, 'Jerusalem luminosa,' 'Light's 
abode, celestial Salem' (H. A.M. 232), a selection 
by Dr. Neale from a long hymn for the dedication 
or restoration of a church. It is of the fifteenth 
century, and is found in a hymn-book at Carlsriihe. 
How wonderfully these unknown singers of the 
past live on in their inspiring strains ! 



SOME FAMOUS ADVENT HYMNS 

ADVENT is not one of the earliest of the Church 
Seasons. Although in many Churches, especially 
those in France, a penitential season, of length 
variously prescribed, was observed as a preparation 
for Christmas early in the sixth century, it was 
not until the close of that century, that the four 
Sundays in Advent became, with their due collects 
and gospels, a part of the recognized order of the 
Roman Church under St. Gregory the Great ; nor 
did their use become general for nearly a century 
and a half longer. But hymns on the subject of 
our Lord's Advent are found earlier than the 
formal observance of the season ; though, as might 
be expected, they are mainly hymns of preparation 
for Christmas, and celebrate the first coming of 
our Lord. 

The typical primitive Advent Hymn is St. 

Ambrose's ' Veni Redemptor gentium,' one of the 

most stately and solemn of his hymns. A fine 

translation of it, by the late Mr. Morgan, was 

inserted in the enlarged edition of PL A. M., 

where it is No. 55. 1 The allusions to the manger 

show that it was intended for use on Christmas 

Eve or Day, and it was doubtless originally a 

1 ' O come, Redeemer of mankind, appear.' 

397 



398 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

hymn for vespers at Christmas ; but it is essentially 
an Advent hymn,. and was thus used more com- 
monly in the middle ages, celebrating our Lord's 
two-fold coming and the Church's expectation of 
both. This hymn was very widely used ; it was 
translated by Luther, and a version of it in 
German, by Franke, has become popular in the 
Lutheran Churches. Franke's is a fine translation, 
and as its language is better adapted for modern 
use than the plain-spoken phraseology of the 
Latin, it was made the basis of Professor Hort's 
admirable version of the hymn in C. H. 70. A 
little later, probably, comes another hymn from 
Milan, 'Conditor alme siderum ' (H. A. M. 45, 
C. H. 65). This, too, was universally employed 
through the middle ages, and has found its way 
through more than one translation into German 
books. Its popularity in England has been, 
unfortunately I think, overshadowed by that of 
another hymn of the same date, ' Vox clara ecce 
intonat,' known to us chiefly through Mr. Caswall's 
very spirited and melodious version of it, * Hark ! a 
thrilling voice is sounding ' (H. A. M. 47, C* H. 
67). A third hymn, equally popular in the middle 
ages, 'Verbum Supernum prodiens,' also of the 
Ambrosian school, is less known to us, but it 
appears as No. 46 in H. A. M. It was the Morn- 
ing Hymn for every day in Advent. All three 
hymns were revised (and as usual nearly spoiled) 
by the compilers of the Roman breviary in the 
sixteenth century. The seventeenth and eighteenth 
centuries brought a large crop of Latin Advent 
hymns, of the same type, into the various French 



SOME FAMOUS ADVENT HYMNS 399 

breviaries, from which thirty or forty years ago 
several passed into our English hymn-books. The 
best of them is Charles Coffin's ' On Jordan's 
bank' (H. A. M. 50, C. H. 71), both translations 
being revisions of Mr. Chandler's. Of our English 
hymns on the First Advent, the one to which I 
would give the palm is undoubtedly Doddridge's 
noble ' Hark, the glad sound ! the Saviour comes,' 
written December 28, 1735, probably (as was his 
custom) to be sung after a sermon on St. Luke iv. 
17-19. This is in nearly all English hymn-books. 
The Bishop of Exeter has rescued from oblivion, 
for the Hymnal Companion, another good hymn of 
a similar type, by Dr. Watts : ' Joy to the world ! 
the Lord is come ' ; but it is, in my judgment, 
inferior to Doddridge's. 

Bishop Jeremy Taylor's Golden Grove (written 
about 1654) contained a series of irregular odes, 
which he called "Festival Hymns." They were 
meant for private use. From one of these, for 
Advent, ' Lord, come away,' Earl Nelson con- 
structed a really fine hymn for the Salisbury 
Hymn Book, which was inserted in C. H. 66. It 
has, however, failed to attain the popularity which 
I think it deserves. Bishop Heber had previously 
failed in another attempt at adapting the same 
hymn. It is on the Gospel for the First Sunday 
in Advent. Lord Nelson's hymn begins, ' Draw 
nigh to Thy Jerusalem, O Lord.' 

I must not leave this part of my subject without 
a reference to an interesting early usage in Advent, 
which has left its mark on our hymns, I mean the 
practice of singing a special short anthem or 



400 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

antiphon at Evensong on each of the eight days 
before Christmas Eve, beginning with December 
1 6. The words in the calendar against that day, 
"O Sapientia," may have puzzled some readers. 
They are meant to indicate the use of the first of 
these short hymns, " O Wisdom that earnest forth 
out of the mouth of the Most High, mightily and 
sweetly ordering all things, come and teach us the 
way of understanding." It is founded on a passage 
(viii. i) in the apocryphal Book of Wisdom. The 
other six antiphons are all of them invocations to 
our Lord under some one of His Old Testament 
names, attributes, or symbols, and were supposed 
to represent the longing of the faithful in old days 
for His appearing. In the twelfth century (ac- 
cording to Dr. Neale) they were collected into a 
metrical hymn : 'Veni, veni, Emmanuel' ; and five 
of them now form an admirable hymn for the last 
fortnight of Advent (//. A. M. 49), and all seven 
in C. H. 74, so arranged that one verse may, if 
desired, be sung on each of the appropriate days. 
But the H. A. M. form, with its lovely mediaeval 
melody, is the most popular. 

In the middle ages, especially in the sorrows 
and troubles of Europe in the eleventh century, 
the thought of our Lord's second coming to judg- 
ment came more and more prominently before the 
minds of believers. A notion had sprung up that 
the end of the thousandth year of the Christian 
era would witness the consummation of all things ; 
and the awe and terror of coming judgment lasted 
on for a long time afterwards. Peter Damiani's 
awful hymn, * Gravi me terrore pulsas,' which its 



SOME FAMOUS ADVENT HYMNS 401 

translator, Dr. Neale, calls the " Dies Iroe of the 
individual life" (Neale, Med. H. y p. 52), was a 
symptom of the feeling of his day (1002-72). A 
century later we have the ' Hora novissima ' of 
Bernard of Cluny (' The world is very evil,' H. A. 
M. 226), though the later stanzas, ' Jerusalem the 
Golden,' have taken a far greater hold upon our 
own less serious century. And then, standing out 
in unparalleled grandeur above every other "Judg- 
ment " hymn, old and new, there appears before us 
the unapproachable 'Dies Irae,' probably written 
by Thomas of Celano, the friend and biographer 
of St. Francis of Assisi, about the middle of the 
thirteenth century. There is no need to quote 
here the judgment of critics, who all agree in 
doing homage to the majesty of the ' Dies Irae.' 
The best proof of its power lies in the fact that it 
has more or less influenced almost everything that 
has since been written on the subject of the last 
judgment. The hymn has been many times 
translated into various European languages. Of 
late years Dean Alford and Archbishop Trench 
have been among its translators into English ; but 
the best version for singing is the very remark- 
able one by the late Dr. Irons, which appears in 
H. A. M., in C. H., and in the Hymnal Companion^ 
and which Dr. Dykes's noble setting has made still 
more impressive. The fine paraphrase of a part 
of the hymn by Sir Walter Scott, in the Lay of 
the Last Minstrel, 'That day of wrath, that 
dreadful day,' is also to be found in H. A. M. 
and in Bishop Bickersteth's book. 

Numberless have been the hymns either sug- 

c c 



4O2 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

gested by the 'Dies Irae,' or at least influenced 
by its train of thought. Among the best known 
is ' Great God, what do I see and hear ? ' a 
hymn universally, but quite erroneously, known as 
Luther's, since he had nothing to do with either 
the words or the music. The tune was a chorale 
by Klug, written after Luther's death. The hymn, 
all but the first verse, is by the late Dr. Collyer, 
a Congregationalist minister. It may be fairly 
said that the hymn is one which has been popu- 
larized by its tune, and I own I should much like 
to see it some day superseded by Mrs. Leeson's far 
more hopeful and beautiful hymn in the same 
metre, ' Stand we prepared to see and hear' (C. H. 
505), which strikes the true keynote of preparation 
for the coming of the Lord. But I fear I shall 
not carry my readers with me. 

The Wesleyan hymnody, as might be expected, 
dealt largely with the expectations of the Second 
Advent, and to it we owe the most famous of 
English "Judgment" hymns that which most 
readers would recognize as the Advent hymn if 
none other were named ; I mean, of course, ' Lo ! 
He comes.' This hymn, as we know it, is a curious 
refutation of the popular theory that a hymn 
ought always to appear exactly as its author wrote 
it. The original writer, John Cennick, one of 
Wesley's best preachers (though he afterwards left 
the Wesleyans), is well known as the author of 
' Children of the heavenly King.' Cennick's 
Judgment hymn appeared in 1752, and six years 
afterwards it was recast by a man of genius, 
Charles Wesley, and became what it is now. My 



SOME FAMOUS ADVENT HYMNS 403 

readers may like to see what they would have had 
to sing if Charles Wesley had left the hymn as its 
author wrote it. Happily he saw its capabilities 

" Lo ! He cometh, countless trumpets 

Bow before the bloody sign ; 
Midst the thousand saints and angels 
See the glorified shine ! 

Hallelujah ! 
Welcome, welcome, bleeding Lamb ! 

Now His merit, by the harpers 
Through the eternal deep resounds ; 

Now resplendent shines [sic] His nail-prints, 
Every eye shall see His wounds ; 

They who pierced Him 
Shall at His appearance wail." 

There are four more stanzas, which it is needless 
to give ; one of them, * Now redemption, long 
expected/ is still found in some versions of the 
hymn. But it is to Wesley, not to Cennick, that 
we really owe the words which touch so many 
hearts in the dusk of the solemn Advent afternoon. 

We must not forget, among English Advent 
hymns, Wesley's striking " Watch-night " hymn, 
* Thou Judge of quick and dead/ nor Doddridge's 
' Ye servants of the Lord ' ; John Newton's ' Day 
of Judgment ' seems to me only a weaker ' Lo ! 
He comes.' These three are all in the Hymnal 
Companion^ and the first two in H. A. M. 

The " Second Advent " hymns hitherto men- 
tioned all bring into prominence the ' Dies Irae ' 
side of the Last Day, and, except Mrs. Leeson's, 
scarcely touch upon that aspect of it presented by 
our Master's exhortation to His faithful disciples : 



404 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

" Look up, and lift up your heads, for your re- 
demption draweth nigh." Of late years, however, 
this element of believing and hopeful expectation 
has been largely awakened in the Christian Church, 
and has found its expression already in her songs. 
Such hymns as Mr. Hensley's ' Thy kingdom 
come,' Mr. Tuttiett's noble ' O quickly come,' and 
Miss Havergal's beautiful and jubilant 'Thou art 
coming, O my Saviour' (all in H. A. M.}, are 
indeed treasures for which we must be thankful to 
the Divine Spirit who is breathing new life into the 
waiting Church. But the great singer of Advent 
expectations is he who so recently has passed 
within the veil, Horatius Bonar. Such hymns as 
'Come, Lord/ and tarry not/ 'The Church has 
waited long,' ' Far down the ages now ' (all in 
C. //., and the last also in the new appendix to 
H. A. M.), may well help to rekindle in many 
hearts that " looking for the blessed hope and 
glorious appearing of our Lord and Saviour Jesus 
Christ," which was the especial characteristic of 
the Church of the first days, and for lack of which 
she has been, till of late, shorn of so much of her 
strength, and chilled in the energy of her love. 



CHILDREN'S HYMNS BY MRS. 
ALEXANDER 

THE present century has done much for the 
religious life of children within the Church. In 
nothing is this more manifest than in the provision 
made for their devotions. Hymns for children as 
children were all but unknown before the Reform- 
ation. The famous " Shepherd " hymn of Clement 
of Alexandria is not really a hymn at all, nor is 
it fitted or intended for use by a child. The yet 
more famous 'All glory, laud, and honour' (at- 
tributed, on doubtful authority, to Theodulf of 
Orleans) was written, no doubt, to be sung by 
chorister boys, but merely as an adjunct to the 
Palm Sunday Offices ; and the hymns which 
Savonarola taught the boys at Florence were the 
product of a noble but merely local and temporary 
revival. A "children's hymn-book" in the middle 
ages meant a collection of the usual Office Hymns 
and Sequences, with notes and helps to construing 
a school-book for the choristers' schools. One 
such is preserved in a Cheshire church, with a 
grim frontispiece representing three little boys 
seated on a low bench before a stern ecclesiastic, 
who wields a formidable birch-rod ; a curious 
405 



406 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

illustration of the method then accepted of " teach- 
ing a child to be good." The Reformation brought 
at least the possibility of a change, though it was 
long before the change came. There is, indeed, 
no manual of Christian teaching in any country to 
be compared to our Church Catechism ; but how 
much " accommodation " and exposition it needs 
to make it a child's book ! Luther, indeed, under- 
stood children's religion, as his Christmas hymn 
for his boy Hans shows us ; and we have occasional 
glimpses, from time to time, of light upon children's 
spiritual needs ; Herrick's lovely * Grace ' is one 
such ; but still there was wanting a real sympathy 
with the beginnings of child-like religion. Ken's 
' Good Philotheus ' is no child, but a sixth-form 
boy. 

We come to Isaac Watts as the pioneer in the 
attempt to provide children with hymns and 
prayers of their own. Watts, though a valetu- 
dinarian old bachelor, was a kindly little man, 
really fond of children, and his Divine and Moral 
Songs were a labour of love. There is much to 
commend in his work. With all the quaintness, 
there is in his Moral Songs a " sanctified common- 
sense " which is excellent ; and he now and then 
rises into real poetry, as in the ' Cradle Hymn,' 
which Tennyson has singled out for praise. In 
the Divine Songs there are fine thoughts here and 
there thoughts of a devout and God-fearing mind. 
But Watts never rose beyond the theology of his 
environment ; and that theology was singularly 
ill-adapted to call out the elements of a child's 
religion. He never, to begin with, grasped the 



CHILDREN'S HYMNS BY MRS. ALEXANDER 407 

idea of a child's covenant relation with its Father 
in heaven. His children were not even prodigal 
sons ; they had never yet been in the Father's 
House at all. He writes a hymn for believers 
who practise infant baptism, and gives those who 
don't a hint to leave out certain verses. For 
Infant Baptism was to him a devout and graceful, 
but purely optional form just as one might pre- 
pare a book for " believers who practise " chanting 
the Psalms. He is, of course, like all his school, 
happily inconsistent ; he loves children so much 
that he believes in his Master's love for them ; but 
he does not believe that a Christian child belongs 
to Christ in any special sense at all. Contrast St, 
Matthew xviii. 10, with such words as 

" Can such a wretch as I 
Escape this cursed end ? 

* * * * 
Then will I read and pray, 

* * * * 

Lest I should be cut off to-day, 
And sent to eternal death." 

Or consider the difference of the conception of the 
character of God as revealed by Christ in the 
words, " It is not the will of your Father which is 
in heaven that one of these little ones should 
perish," with that embodied in the monstrous 
lines 

" What if the Lord grow wroth, and swear, 
While I refuse to read and pray, 
That He'll refuse to lend an ear 
To all my groans another day ? 



408 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

What if His dreadful anger burn 

While I refuse His offered grace, 

And all His love to anger turn, 

And strike me dead upon the place ? 

3 Tis dangerous to provoke a God ! 

His power and vengeance none can tell : 

One stroke of His Almighty rod 

Shall send youag sinners quick to hell " 

and so forth. The contrast between this and the 
' Cradle Song ' shows the difference between a 
good man writing from his own heart and from 
the necessity of being consistent with the traditional 
theology of his school. 

Charles Wesley, who thought that Watts had 
" succeeded admirably well " in letting himself 
down to children, himself wrote, he tells us, on the 
other plan of lifting them up to us. But except 
the fine ' Captain of our Salvation/ for the Kings-* 
wood pupils, there is nothing worth noting in the 
first part of his hymns for children, certainly 
nothing so good as Watts's best. His Hymns for 
the Youngest contain, however, some really beauti- 
ful little hymns, the first being ' Gentle Jesus, 
meek and mild/ It is true he sometimes "lets 
himself down " so much, that some of his lines 
are absolutely silly ; and sometimes, in trying to 
lift up the children, loses hold of the little hands. 
Nor does his theology, on the whole, differ much 
from Watts's. The repentance, faith, hopes, and 
terrors of the little ones are still cast in the mould 
of their elders. The foundation text of a child's 
religion is still read backwards " Except the little 
children be converted, and become like you." 
The establishment of Sunday Schools doubtless 






CHILDREN'S HYMNS BY MRS. ALEXANDER 409 

brought a new demand for children's hymns ; and 
soon a far truer note was struck by the Taylors of 
Ongar. The authoresses of the Hymns for Infant 
Minds and Hymns for Sunday Schools found out 
at last how to put into really childlike words 
the root-truths of every child's faith. Dissenters 
though they were, and (I believe) Baptists, the 
groundwork of all true Church teaching is in such 
hymns as ' Great God, and wilt Thou condescend/ 
' Lord, I would own Thy tender care,' ' Lo, at noon 
'tis sudden night ' (a really sublime hymn on the 
Passion), ' Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour.' 
* Jesus, Who dwelt above the sky,' though the most 
popular of all, has grave defects of taste and 
doctrine. And more might be enumerated. But 
now " all can grow the flower " from the seed 
which the Taylors sowed ; and the luxuriance of 
Nonconformist child-hymnody is such that it 
would be invidious to select names. But it is to 
be noted that the best of these are those that have 
shaken themselves most free from the dominant 
theology of Watts's day, and dwell mainly upon 
the Fatherhood of God, the love of the Good 
Shepherd, and the personal relation of the child 
to Him. Such are those of Mr. Midlane (' There's 
a Friend for little children '), Mrs. Luke (' I think 
when I read that sweet story of old '), and Mrs. 
Duncan (' Jesus, tender Shepherd, hear me '). 

And now as the spirit of hymnody began to 
awake within the English Church, and one singer 
after another arose to translate the words of the 
past, or to add new treasures to the ever-growing 
store of Church hymns, there arose a new demand 



410 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

for definite Church teaching in the songs put into 
the lips of our little ones, and the Church of 
England began to produce children's hymns of her 
own, conceived in the spirit of her Prayer Book 
and Catechism. Isaac Williams's Hymns on the 
Catechism, though rather hard and formal, were a 
step in the right direction ; then came the suc- 
cessive parts of Neale's Hymns for Children^ many 
of them devout and instructive, but not inspired ; 
Mrs. Leeson's Hymns and Scenes of Childhood ; 
and a most excellent and useful, though rather 
unchildlike book, The Child's Christian Year, to 
which Keble contributed, and in which appeared 
many of Anstice's hymns, and some by Cardinal 
Newman's sister, Mrs. Mozley. But none of these 
were all we wanted for our little ones. At last, in 
1848, amidst the storms of political revolution and 
social agitation, when a new tide of thought was 
flowing full and strong into English religious life, 
in the year which saw Tennyson's splendid 
maturity in the ' Princess/ and Charles Kingsley's 
brilliant dawning in the 'Saint's Tragedy,' there 
came quietly and unnoticed into the Church, from 
the far north of Ireland, a little book signed by no 
name but the three modest initials, " C. F. H." ; a 
book which will live upon the lips of generations 
of children yet unborn, even of many who will 
perhaps never care to read the two other great 
poems ; and will put into the mouth of thousands 
of " babes and sucklings " the first notes of that 
praise which God will perfect on high. 

Miss Humphreys, as she then was, had already 
published one or two graceful volumes of verse for 



CHILDREN'S HYMNS BY MRS. ALEXANDER 411 

young people, and two years before had brought 
out, with a Preface by Dr. Hook, a little book of 
Verses for Holy Seasons, dedicated to John Keble. 
These are arranged according to the Sundays and 
Holy Days of the Christian Year. They scarcely 
give promise of what was to come; but there is 
much beauty in them here and there. One 
specially lovely poem on the healing of the deaf 
stammerer has, I believe, been reprinted in her 
Moral Songs. But the " Verses " were not hymns. 

It is superfluous to praise the Hymns for 
Little Children, which must have sold by the 
million. Its true praise is in the thousands of 
little lips which daily utter such strains as, ' Now 
the dreary night is done,' ' All things bright and 
beautiful,' ' Once in royal David's city,' * Do no 
sinful action,' * There is a green hill far away,' 
and many another. It was an excellent plan to 
make the hymns follow the order of the Church 
Catechism, upon which they are so good a 
commentary. 

The Hymns for Little Children were followed 
by the scarcely less beautiful, but less known 
Narrative Hymns on the Gospels ; and these again 
by the Verses on Subjects in the Old Testament, 
containing, among others, the noble poem on the 
' Burial of Moses,' which the late Lord Houghton 
no mean critic pronounced to be the finest 
sacred lyric in the language. Before these were 
given to the world, Miss Humphreys had married 
Mr. Alexander, one of the two Irish deans who 
took the Church of England by storm at the York 
Church Congress, and who have now been long 



412 SOME FAMOUS HYMNS 

recognized as the two most eloquent preachers on 
the bench of Bishops. 1 Mrs. Alexander's hymns, 
however, as is well known, are by no means all 
written for the little ones. Some of these best 
known .and loved first appeared in the S.P.C.K. 
Psalms and Hymns, 1850, edited by the late Mr. 
Fosbery of Reading. Among these were ' Jesus 
calls us ; o'er the tumult,' * The roseate hues of 
early dawn/ ' The golden gates are lifted up.' 
The beautiful 'When wounded sore the stricken 
soul ' is a little later. This hymn is understood to 
be her husband's favourite. 

Mrs. Alexander edited for Messrs. Macmillan 
a charming little Sunday Book of Poetry for the 
Yoiing> one of the " Golden Treasury " series ; less 
known than it deserves. She is frequently asked 
to write hymns for special occasions. Some of 
the Hymns for Saints' Days in Hymns Ancient 
and Modern are hers, including a beautiful one for 
St. Peter's Day, * Forsaken once, and thrice denied.' 
Some of these, however, are less adapted for 
singing than her earlier hymns. She has also 
written a pretty collection of Moral Songs, and 
one or two allegories and tales ; among them a 
rendering into verse of the lovely legend of Saint 
Francesca of Rome, called ' The Legend of the 
Golden Prayers.' 

Many years ago two ladies in a country house 
were watching all night in terrible anxiety by the 
bedside of the child of one of them, who had been 
struck down by a dread accident. As night slowly 
passed into dawn hope seemed to die out of their 
1 She died after this paper was written. 



CHILDREN'S HYMNS BY MRS. ALEXANDER 413 

hearts. Suddenly from the adjoining nursery rose 
the clear, fresh voice of the sufferer's little brother, 
saying, as he sat up in bed 

" Now the dreary night is done, 
Comes again the glorious sun." 

The tones came like a message of hope to the two 
weary watchers ; and the hope new kindled found 
fulfilment ere long. 



GENERAL INDEX 



ADAMS, Sarah, 381 

Advent, and Advent Hymns, 397 

Alexander, Mrs., 410 

Alford, Dean, 374 

Allen, James, 320 

American Hymn-Book, 169, 222, 

231, 286 

Attwell, Professor, 102, 117, 167 
Auber, Harriet, 346, 381 
Augustine's definition of a Hymn, 

161, 225 
Authorized Hymnal, 206, 260, 284 

Baker, Sir Henry W., 47, 280, 374 

* Baldur, death of,' 25 

Barbauld, Anna, 381 

Barnes, 66 

Baxter, Richard, 309 

Bickersteth, Bishop E. H., 70, 123, 

139, 399 

Bird, F. M., letter from, 171 
Blunt, Rev. Gerald, 23, 69 
Bonar, Horatius, 376, 387 
Bonar, Andrew, 388 
' Bondage of Creeds,' 40 
'Book of Praise,' 238 
Brock, Mrs. Carey, 87 
' Burial of Moses,' 411 
Burns, the brothers, 388 

1 Canon ' in Greek service books, 

392 

Caswall, Rev. Edward, 367 
Cennick, John, 318, 340, 402 
Centuries, l6th, I7th, poor in 

hymnody, 199 



Chandler, Rev. John, 352 
Child's Christian Year, The, 410 
' Children's Almanac,' 156 
Children's Hymns, 405 
' Children's Hymn-Book,' The, 64, 

87, 95, 98 
' Children's Hymns and School 

Prayers,' 64 
Chillon, 100 

Choral Associations, value of, 256 
' Christian Observer,' The, 329 
'Christian Year,' The, 240, 359 
'Church of England Hymn-Book,' 

The, 92 
Church of England Temperance 

Hymn-Book, 70 
' Church Hymns,' 72, 95, 98 
Collins, Henry, 368 
Compton, Rev. Berdmore, 74, 82 
Conder, Josiah, 342 
Copyright of hymns, 123 
Cosin, Bishop, 303 
Cotterill, Rev. Thomas, 340 
Coverdale's collection of hymns, 

195 

Cowper, William, 237, 324 
Cradle Hymn, Watts's, 406 
Cranmer, Archbishop, 187 
Creeds are hymns, 232 
Crewe Green, 36 
Critical estimate of Canon Ellerton's 

hymns, 161 
Grossman, Samuel, 309 

Denmark, hymns of, 78 

' Dictionary of Hymnology,' 156 



416 



GENERAL INDEX 



Doddridge, Philip, 200, 314 
' Dream of Gerontius,' 365 
Drummond, William, 351 

Elizabeth, Injunction of, 196 
Ellerton, John, birth and baptism, 
1 6 ; his descent and parents, 1 6 ; 
at Norham-on-Tweed, 18 ; death 
of his father and mother, 18; 
early boyhood in London, 1 8 ; 
unfulfilled prophecy, 19 ; at 
Ulverston, 20 ; goes to King 
William's College, 20 ; at Bra- 
thay, 21 ; matriculates at Trinity 
College, Cambridge, 21 ; Cam- 
bridge Society, Henry Bradshaw, 
Dr. Hort, 21 ; influence of Mau- 
rice's works on his mind, 21 ; tone 
of his Churchmanship, 22 ; Col- 
lege life, Rev. G. Blunt's recol- 
lections of him, 23 ; competes for 
the Chancellor's medal, 24 ; or- 
dained Deacon, 24 ; curate life 
at Easebourne, 32 ; ordained 
Priest, and appointed Senior 
Curate of Brighton, and evening 
Lecturer at St. Peter's, 33 ; Fred- 
erick Robertson, 34 ; appointed 
Vicar of Crewe Green, 36 ; mar- 
ries, 36 ; activity as a Parish 
Priest, 37 ; ' Bondage of Creeds,' 
40; the Endless Alleluia, explan- 
ation of the term "endless" by 
Sir H. Baker, 46 ; hymns written 
at Crewe Green, 46 60; ap- 
pointed Diocesan Inspector, 63 ; 
presented to the Rectory of 
Barnes, 65 ; disabled by illness, 
98 ; resigns Barnes, 98 ; retires 
to Switzerland, 98 ; Chaplain at 
Pegli, 102 ; appointed Rector of 
White Roding, 115 ; publishes 
' Hymns Original and Trans- 
lated,' 127 ; stricken with pa- 
ralysis, 156; withdraws to Tor- 
quay, 157 ; resigns White Roding, 
157 ; nominated Canon of St. 
Albans, 157 ; death, 158; funeral, 
158 
Elliott, Charlotte, 381 



English hymnody, recent growth of, 
192 ; begins in l8th century, 199 ; 
its subjective character, 202 ; past 
history of, 185 

Faber, Rev. F. W., 369 
Faioum fragment, The, 119 
Florence, 112 
Flowerdew, Alice, 381 
Free Church of Scotland, its 
founders, 378, 389 

Gales, Mr., 338 

German hymns, the older, 78, 278 ; 

the later, 204 

Grant, Charles Lord Glenelg, 349 
Grant, Sir Robert, 349 
Greek hymns, 392 

Hammond, William, 351 

Havergal, Frances Ridley, 276, 384 

Heber, Bishop Reginald, 230, 330 

Heber, Richard, 330 

Henry VIII. Primer, 193 

I linstock, 6 1 

< Holy Year,' The, 376 

Hort, Dr., 119 

How, Bishop Walsham, 64, 70, 
82, 87, 116 

Hymn, Augustine's definition of a, 
161, 225 

Hymn, original form of, not neces- 
sarily the best, 208 

' Hymnal Companion,' 98, 124, 270 

Hymn-book, principles on which it 
should be constructed, 223 ; how 
to use, 245 

'Hymnologia Christiana,' Dr. Ken- 
nedy's, 72, 94, 198 

' Hymns and Scenes of Childhood,' 
410 

' Hymns Ancient and Modern,' 74, 
98, 130, 224, 280 

' Hymns of Faith and Hope,' 380 

' Hymns for Children,' Dr. Neale's, 
358, 4io 

' Hymns for Little Children,' 411 

' Hymns for Schools and Bible 
Classes,' 34, 72 

' Hymns on the Catechism,' 410 



GENERAL INDEX 



417 



' Hymns Original and Translated,' 
127 

' Hymns,' Art. in 'Diet, of Christian 
Antiquities,' 62 

Hymns for Saints' Days, 229 n. ; 
care in selecting for singing, 251 ; 
giving out in church, 285 ; 'Jeru- 
salem,' 235; 'Judgment,' 402; 
limits to length of, 242 ; modern 
compared with ancient, 204 ; of 
the Oxford Movement, 350 ; 
private use of, 257 ; sentimental 
and sensuous, 238, 239 n., 264 ; 
speed in singing, 255 5 when un- 
fitted for congregational use, 204 

Hymn-singing of former days, 73 

'Indwelling, The Great,' 121 
Irons, Dr. W. J., 356 
Irvine, Edward, 19 

Jackson, Bishop, 105 
Jewel, Bishop, letter to Peter Mar- 
tyr, 196 

Keble, Rev. John, 360 
Kemble, Rev. Charles, 231 
Ken, Bishop, 305 
Kennedy, Dr., 72, 198 

Leeds, singing in the parish church, 

249 

Litanies, metrical, 95 
' London Mission Hymn-Book,' 70 
Luke, Jemima, 381 
' Lyra Catholica,' 368 
' Lyra Eucharistica, ' 96 
Lyte, Rev. H. F., 344 

Macaulay, Zachary, 329 

McCheyne, Rev. R. M., 388 

Maian, Cesar, 382 

Mant, Bishop, 351 

' Manual of Parochial Work,' 68 

Martin, St., 143 n. 

Mason, Jackson, 396 

Mason, John, 309 

Matthewson, Rev. Thomas, letter 

from, 174 
' Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences,' 

356 



' Memorials of a Quiet Life,' 332 
Mercer, Rev. W., 342 
Milman, Dean, 334 
Monsell, Rev. J. S., 374 
Montgomery, James. 337 
Moorson, W. M., 37 
Mozarabic Liturgy, 51 
Mozley, Anne, 381 

'Narrative Hymns on the Gospels,' 

411 

Neale, Dr. J. M., 355 
Nelson, Earl, 362, 399 
Newman, Cardinal, 363 
Newton, John, 201, 325 
' Notes and Illustrations to Church 

Hymns,' 62, 68, 81 
Novalis, 89 

Oakeley, Frederick, 369 
Olney Hymns, 323, 327, 329 
Ouseley, Rev. Sir Frederick, 190 
Oxenden, Bishop, 88 

Parisian Breviary, 352 
'Poor-House, an Italian,' 109 
Pope's Ode, 231 
'Prayers for School-masters and 

Teachers,' 34 
Psalms, Book of, 226 ; Metrical, a 

mistake, 80 

Rhys Prichard, Welsh Hymns, 279 
Robertson, Rev. F. W., 34 
Robertson of Irvine, 380 

S. P. C. K., 67, 77 

Salisbury Hymn-book, 362 

Sedgwick, Daniel, 211, 276 

Shirley, Hon. W., 320 

Steele, Anne, 381 

Sternhold, Thomas, his Version of 

the Psalms, 196 
Stubbs, Thomas, funeral of, 5 2 
Synesius, Bishop, 278 

Taine, M., 190 

Tate and Brady, 197 

Taylor, Bishop Jeremy, ' Golden 

Grove,' 399 

Taylor, the Sisters, 381, 409 
DD 



GENERAL INDEX 



Thomas of Celano, 401 
Thornton, Archdeacon, 67 
Thring, Prebendary Godfrey, 92 
Toplady, Augustus M., 202, 321 
Tracts for S. P. C. K.,68 
'Twilight of Life,' 121 

' Verses for Holy Seasons,' 411 

' Verses on Subjects in the Old 

Testament,' 411 
Veytaux, 99 

Walton, Izaak, 306 



Watts, Dr., 200, 234, 309, 406 

Webb, Benjamin, 356 

' Welshman's Candle,' The, 279 

Wesleys, Thej 201, 316 

White Roding, 116 

Wilberforce, W. , anecdote of, 359 

Williams, Rev. Isaac, 353 

Williams, William, 279 

Winkworth, Miss Catherine, 278 

Wordsworth, Bishop Christopher, 
56, 230 ., 231, 374; on the 
doctrinal teaching of hymns, 
232 



. LIST OF CANON ELLERTON'S 
HYMNS, TRANSLATIONS, AND POEMS 



PAGE 

A CHILD is born in Bethlehem 148 

Again the morn of gladness ... ... ... ... ... 64 

Again Thou meetest in Thy way ... ... ... ... 129 

All my heart to Thee I give 65 

Another day begun 55 

Ascended Lord, Thy Church's Head 138,140 

Before the day draws near its ending 69 

Behold us, Lord, a little space 54, 83 

Break Thou to us, O Lord ... ... ... ... 69, 125 

Bride of Christ, whose glorious warfare ... ... 84, 1 34 

Church of Christ, &c. See Bride of Christ, &c. 

Come forth, O Christian brothers 53 

Day by day we magnify Thee 34 

Down the lane at evening time 121 

English children, lift your voices 128 

Father, in Thy glorious dwelling 48,166 

Father! Name of love and fear ! 55 

" Follow Me !" the Master spake 140,145 

From east to west, from shore to shore ... ... 85, 134 

Giver of the perfect gift ! 58,85 

Glory in the highest ! let our Church bells ring (dated \^>^) 
God, Creator and Preserver ! ... ... ... ... 54 

God of the living, in Whose eyes 35 

God the Almighty, in wisdom ordaining 53 

Hail to the Lord Who comes ... ... ... ... 69 

Here in this peaceful time and place of rest 107 



420 LIST OF CANON ELLERTON'S 



In gladness to Thy House, O Lord 153 

I would not linger idly by the strand 121 

In the Name which earth and Heaven 57, 83 

In the Name which holy angels 68 

It was early in the morning 146 

Jesu most pitiful 49 

Jesu, Who alone defendest 51 

Joy ! because the circling year 85 

King Messiah, long expected 55583 

King of Saints, to Whom the number 56,83 

Lift the strain of high thanksgiving 51 

Lo, the angel squadrons muster ; lo, the armies of the sky 148 

Mary at the Master's feet 56,83 

Morn of morns, the best and first 85 

Now the labourer's task is o'er 56 

Now returns the awful morning 35, 83 

O Father, all creating ... 63 

O Father, bless the children 128 

O friends, from under skies of ashen grey ... ... ... 122 

Oh come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant ... 57, 86 

Oh how fair that morning broke 69 

O Holy Spirit, Whom our Master sent 139, 144 

O Jerusalem the blissful, Home of gladness yet untold 128, 134 

O Lord of life and death, we come 55? 84 

O Meat for travellers on their road ... ... ... ... 149 

Once more Thy Cross before our view ... ... ... 63 

On this the day when days began ... ... ... 48,86 

Onward, brothers, onward ! march with one accord ... 71 

O Sacred Head, beneath Thy veil of shame 150 

O shining city of our God 52 

O Son of God, our Captain of salvation 55, 84 

O Strength and Stay, upholding all creation ... 85, 160 
O Thou in Whom Thy saints repose ... ... ... 53 

O Thou Who givest food to all 70 

O Thou Whose bounty fills the earth 69 

Our day of praise is done 48 

Praise our God for all the wonders 33, 7 

Praise our God, Whose open Hand 69 

Praise to our God, Whose bounteous Hand 57 

Praise to the Heavenly Wisdom 128 

Saviour, again to Thy dear Name we raise ... 47, 159 

Say, watchman, what of the night ? 140,147 

Shine Thou upon us, Lord. (See Break Thou to us, 

O Lord) 125 n. 



HYMNS, TRANSLATIONS, AND POEMS 42! 



Sing Alleluia forth in duteous praise 46 

Sing, ye faithful, sing with gladness 54 

Speak Thou to me, O Lord 63 

Spirit of God, Whose glory 129 

Take, dearest, this, thy Lenten thoughts to guide ... 122 

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended ... ... ... 53 

The hours of school are over 34 

The Lord be with us as we bend 53 

The years pass on. We name them good or bad 151 

This day the Lord's disciples met ... ... ... ... 68 

This is the day of Light 48 

This is the hour when in full brightness glowing 129 

Thou in Whose Name the two or three 84 

Thou Who once for us uplifted ... ... ... ... 62 

T!K>U Who sentest Thine Apostles 63 

Thou Who, wearied by the well 70 

Thrice Holy, Thrice Almighty Lord 1 28 

Throned upon the awful Tree ... ... ... ... 63 

Thy Voice it is that calls us, bounteous Lord 68 

'Tis come, the day of exultation 139,142 

To-day we sing to Christ our King 139,143 

To the Name that speaks salvation 59, 86 

" Welcome, happy morning ! " age to age shall say ... 49 

We sing of Christ's eternal gifts 59 

We sing the glorious conquest 55 , 84 

What were Thy Forty Days ? 139,141 

Wlien the day of toil is done 52 

When to the far-off country 155 

Within Thy Temple, Lord, of old 70 



OTHER HYMNS MENTIONED 



PAGE 

ABIDE with me 65 ., 89, 348 

Ad coenam Agni ... ... ... ... ... 191, 393 

Adeste fideles 2315369 

Adoro Te devote 79,188^,278 

yEterna Christi munera 230 n. 

A few more years 378, 390 

Alleluia dulce carmen 96 

Alleluia! fairest morning 94 

Alleluia ! hearts to heaven 396 

Alleluia! sing to Jesus ... 396 

All glory, laud, and honour ... ... ... ... 356, 405 

All hail the power of Jesus' Name 320 

All people that on earth do dwell 227 

All things bright and beautiful 411 

Angels, from the realms of glory 341 

Art thou weary 358 

As for Thy gifts 198 

At the Lamb's High Feast 96,191 

Auroralucis 191 

Awake, my soul 252 

Before Jehovah's awful throne 313 

Bread of heaven, on Thee we feed 343 

Bread of the world, in mercy broken 336 

Brief life is here our portion 356 

Brightest and best 335 

By Thy birth, O Lord of all 381 

Calm me, my God ... ... ... ... ... ... 39 

Captain of our salvation 408 

Children of the Heavenly King 320,402 

Christ lag in Todesbanden (Christ Jesus lay) ... 96, 191, 395 

Christ the Lord is risen again 395 

Christ the Lord is risen to-day 191, 395 

Christ, Whose glory fills the skies 203,318 



OTHER HYMNS MENTIONED 423 

PAGE 

Christus ist erstanden 191, 395 

Christian ! seek not yet repose 383 

Come, Lord, and tarry not 390,404 

Come, see the place where Jesus lay 191 

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain 391 

Come, ye thankful people, come 374 

Conditor alme siderum 398 

Creator of the rolling flood 336 

Dayof Judgment 403 

Days and moments quickly flying 368 

Depth of Mercy 318 

Dies Irae 240, 356, 401 

Disposer Supreme 354 

Draw nigh to Thy Jerusalem 399 

Em feste Burg 228,240 

Exultet orbis gaudiis 230 n. 

Far down the ages now 390,404 

Far from my heavenly home 347 

Far from the world, O Lord, I flee 236 

Finita jam sunt prselia 394 

For ever with the Lord 342 

Forsaken once, and thrice denied 4 12 

For thee, O dear, dear country ... ... ... ... 357 

Forth from the dark and stormy sky 336 

Forth in Thy Name 93 

From Greenland's icy mountains 333 

Gentle Jesus 408 

Gird thee at the martyr's shrine 95 

Glorious things of Thee are spoken 328 

Glory be to Jesus 368 

Glory to Thee, my God, this night 307 

God of mercy, God of grace 347 

God moves in a mysterious way 3 2 7 

Go, labour on 39 

Golden harps are sounding ... ... ... ... 386 

Gravi me terrore pulsas 4 

Great God, and wilt Thou condescend 49 

Great God, what do I see and hear 4 2 

Guide me, O Thou Great Jehovah 279 

Hail, festal day 393 

Hail, gladdening Light ... ... ... 3^5 

Hail, Thou once despised Jesus 3 2 

Hail to the Lord's Anointed 34* 

Hark ! a thrilling (vox dara ecce intonat} 398 

Hark! hark, my soul ... ... ... 37 2 



424 OTHER HYMNS MENTIONED 

PAGE 

Hark, my soul ! it is the Lord 327 

Hark, the glad sound 315, 399 

Hark! the herald-angels sing 190,318 

Heal us, Emmanuel ... ... ... ... ... ... 327 

Heaven at last 390 

High let us swell our tuneful notes 315 

Holy, Holy, Holy 236, 335 

Hora novissima 401 

Hosanna to the Living Lord 336 

Hosanna to the Prince of Light ... 191 

How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds 328 

I heard the voice of Jesus say 379, 390 

I lay my sins on Jesus 378,390 

I think when I read 409 

I was a wandering sheep 378,390 

I was wandering and weary 372 

Inspirer and Hearer of prayer 322 

Jam lucis 203 

Jerusalem, my happy home 235 

Jerusalem the golden 235 ., 357, 401 

Jesu, Lover of my soul ... ... ... ... 236, 318 

Jesu, meek and lowly ... ... ... ... 224, 368 

~esu, my Lord ... ... ... ... ... ... 368 

esu, the very thought of Thee 368 

esu, the very thought is sweet 356 

esus calls us 412 

_ esus Christ is risen to-day 191,241,394 

Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour 409 

Jesus lives (Jesus lebf) 395 

"esus, Master, Whom I serve 386 

esus, tender Shepherd 409 

esus shall reign ... ... ... ... ... ... 313 

esus, Who dwelt above the sky 409 

oy to the world 399 

Lead, kindly Light 89,364 

Light's abode, celestial Salem 356,396 

Lo, at noon 'tis sudden night 409 

Lo ! God is here 319 

Lo! He comes 240,318,402 

Lord, come away 399 

Lord, I would own Thy tender care 409 

Lord, in this dust Thy sovereign voice 365 

Lord, in this Thy mercy's day 354 

Lord Jesus, think on me 278 

Lord of mercy and of might 336 

Lord of our life 89 

Lord, speak to me that I may speak 386 



OTHER HYMNS MENTIONED 425 



PAGE 



Lord, teach us how to pray aright ... ... ... ... 342 

Media vita in morte sumus 302 

Mistaken souls ! that dream of heaven ... 232 

My God, and is Thy table spread 190, 315 

My God, how endless is Thy love 203 

My God, I love Thee 368 

My God, my Father, while I stray 382 

Nearer, my God, to Thee 224 

New every morning is the love 362 

Now the dreary night is done ... 411,413 

O Beata Hierusalem 134 

O Captain of God's host 336 

O come, all ye faithful (Adeste fideles) 231, 369 

O come, Redeemer ( Veni Redemptor gentium) 397 

O come to the merciful Saviour ... ... ... ... 372 

O Everlasting Light 390 

O God, I love Thee 126 n. 

O God of our salvation, Lord 233 

O God, our help in ages past ... ... ... ... 313 

O happy band of pilgrims 358 

O help us, Lord, each hour of need 336 

O Lord of heaven, and earth, and sea 375 

O love of God, how strong and true ... ... ... 390 

O Paradise 372 

O quanta qualia (Ok, -what the joy) 126, 235, 241, 356 

O quickly come 404 

O Sapientia 400 

O Spirit of the Living God 342 

O voice of the Beloved 396 

O worship the King 349 

Oh, come and mourn with me awhile ... ... ... 224 

Oh for a closer walk with God 79, 237, 327 

Once in royal David's city ... 411 

On Jordan's bank 399 

On the Resurrection morning 396 

Pange lingua 76,83 

Peace, perfect peace ... ... ... ... ... ... 126 

Pilgrims of the night 372 

Pleasant are Thy courts above 347 

Pour down Thy Spirit from on high ... ... ... 342 

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven 347 

Praise to the Holiest in the height 365 

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire ... ... ... ... 341 

Preserve us, Lord, by Thy dear Word 197 

Ride on, ride on in majesty 336 



426 OTHER HYMNS MENTIONED 



PAGE 



Rock of ages 79, 209, 237, 240, 273, 281, 321, 344 

Salve festa dies 49, 187 n., 393 

Saviour, when in dust to Thee ... ... ... ... 349 

Soldiers of Christ, arise 242 

Songs of praise the angels sang ... ... ... ... 191 

Souls of men 372 

Sous ton voile d'ignominie 127 

Stabat mater 240 

Stand we prepared 402 

Sun of my soul 79,281,362 

Sweet Saviour, bless us 372 

Sweet the moments 320 

Take my life 386 

Te Deum ... ... ... ... ... ... 240, 273 

That day of wrath 401 

The Church has waited long 390,404 

The day is past and over 358 

The day of Resurrection 358,391 

The God of Abraham praise 320 

The golden gates are lifted up 412 

The roseate hues of early dawn 412 

The Son of God goes forth to war 335 

The strife is o'er (Finitajani) 394 

The sun is sinking fast " 368 

The voice that breathed o'er Eden 362 

There is a book who runs may read 362 

There is a fountain filled with Blood 327 

There's a Friend for little children 409 

There is a green hill far away ... ... ... ... 411 

There is a land of pure delight 313 

Thou art coming, O my Saviour 404 

Thou Judge of quick and dead 403 

Thou hidden love of God 319 

Thy kingdom come 404 

Thy way, not mine, O Lord 390 

To Thee, and to Thy Christ, O God 396 

Through the night of doubt and sorrow 78 n. 

Thy life was given for me ... ... ... ... ... 3^6 

'Tis the day of Resurrection 191 

Towards the eve 94 

Veni Creator 194,304,351 

Veni Redemptor gentium 397 

Veni, veni, Emmanuel 4 

Verbum Supermini prodiens 39$ 

Vexilla Regis prodeunt 76, i88w.,2io 

Victimse Paschali i9 J > 393 

Vox clara ecce intonat 39^ 



OTHER HYMNS MENTIONED 427 

PAGE 

We came to Thee, sweet Saviour 372 

Welcome, happy morning 393 

What had I been if Thou wert not 89 

When gathering clouds ... ... ... ... ... 349 

When I survey the wondrous Cross 313 

When languor and disease invade 322 

When our heads are bowed with woe 336 

When the weary, seeking rest ... ... ... ... 379 

When wounded sore the stricken soul 412 

Ye choirs of new Jerusalem 394 

Ye servants of God ... ... ... ... ... ... 318 

Ye servants of the Lord 403 



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History and Literature. By the late W. H. DAVENPORT ADAMS. 
Crown 8vo. Cloth boards. 35. 6d. 



Publications of the Society for 



WORKS ON CHURCH HISTORY, do, Continued. 

Grosseteste, Robert, Bishop of Lincoln, The Life and Times of. By 
the Rev. G. G. PERRY. Post 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6cl. 
["Grosseteste chiefly as a reformer in a corrupt period of the 
Church, and his quarrel with the Pope " : for general reading.] 

History of the English Church, in Short Biographical Sketches. By 
the late Rev. JULIUS LLOYD. Post 8vo. Cloth boards, is. 6d. 
[Leads the reader, by a series of selected lives, to a general idea 
of the Church History of England.] 

John Wicliff, His Life, Times, and Teaching. By the Rev. A. R. 
PENNINGTON, M.A. Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 33. [This work 
embraces the result of recent researches : for general reading.] 

Lectures on the Historical and Dogmatical Position of the Church of 
England. By the Rev. W. BAKER, D.D. Post 8vo. Cloth 
boards, is. 6d. [Supplies in short compass a clear account of the 
historical position of the Church of England : for General Readers.] 

Lessons from Early English Church History. By the Right Rev. 
G. F. BROWNE, B.D. Post 8vo. Cloth boards. is. 6d. 
[These lectures are true lessons, and have much to teach the ordinary 
Churchman.] 

The Christian Church in these Islands hefore the Coming of Augustine. 
By the Right Rev. G. F. BROWNE, B.D. Post 8vo. Cloth 
boards, is. 6d. [A lucid and scholarly account of this obscure 
period of English Church History : for General Readers.] 

The Church of England : its Planting, its Settlement, its Reformation, 
and its Renewed Life. Four addresses by the late Rev. E. VEN- 
ABLES, M.A. Post 8vo. Cloth boards, is. [A useful summary.] 

The Story in Outline of the Church of England. By the Rev. Canon 
GARNIER, M.A. Sm. post 8vo. Paper covers. 3d. [Gives a 
short and simple historical account of the Church of England.] 

The Title Deeds of the Church of England : an Historic Vindication of 
her Position and Claims. By the Rev. Canon GARNIER. Post 
8vo. Cloth boards. 35. 6d. [The sub-title explains the aim of 
this book, which is written in a lucid and interesting manner.] 



Promoting Christian Knowledge. 



STORIES FOUNDED ON CHURCH HISTORY. 



Attila and his Conquerors. A Story of the Days of St. Patrick and 
St. Leo the Great. By the late Mrs. RUNDLE CHARLES. Crown 
8vo. Cloth boards. 33. 6d. 

Champions of the Eight. By the Rev. E. GILLIAT, M.A. Crown 

8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 
[A series of selected Biographies, illustrating English History.] 

Conquering and to Conquer. A Story of Rome in the Days of St. 
Jerome. By the late Mrs. RUNDLE CHARLES, author of " The 
Schonberg-Cotta Family." Crown 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 
[Presents a fair Picture of Society in Jerome's time : for General Readers.] 

Gaudentius. A Story of the Colosseum. By the Rev. G. S. DAVIES. 
Crown 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

[A Picture of Roman Morals yielding to the Pressure of Christianity : for 
Educated Readers.] 

Jack Dane's Inheritance. A Tale of Church Defence. By FRANCES 
BEAUMONT MILNE. With one page Woodcut. Post 8vo. Limp 
cloth. 6d. 
[A story upon the rights and liberties of the Church of England.] 

Lapsed, not Lost. A Story of Roman Carthage. By the late Mrs. 

RUNDLE CHARLES. Crown 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 
[A Story of the time ef St. Cyprian : for General Readers.] 

Mitslav : or, The Conversion of Pomerania. By the late Right Rev. 
R. MILMAN, D.D. Crown 8vo. With Map. Cloth boards. 
33. 6d. 

Narcissus. A Tale of Early Christian times. By the Right Rev. W. 
BOYD CARPENTER. Crown 8vo. Cloth boards. 33. 6d. 

Stories for the Saints' Days. By S. W., author of "Stories for every 
Sunday in the Christian Year." Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 
is. 6d. 
[An Epitome of the Lives of certain Saints and Fathers : for Ordinary Readers.] 

The Church in the Valley. By ELIZABETH HARCOURT MITCHELL. 
With four page Woodcuts. Crown 8vo. Cloth. 2s. 6d. 

[A story which introduces much Church History, and is well calculated to spread 
useful information upon the Disestablishment question.] 

The Villa of Claudius. A Tale of the Roman-British Church. By 
the Rev. E. L. CUTTS, D.D. New Edition. With four page 
illustrations. Crown 8vo. Cloth boards. Is. 6d. 

E E 



Publications of the Society fo? 



DIOCESAN HISTORIES. 



Bath and Wells. By the Rev. W. HUNT. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Canterbury. By the Rev. R. C. JENKINS. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 33. 6d. 

Carlisle. By RICHARD S. FERGUSON, Esq. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Chester. By the Rev. RUPERT H. MORRIS, D.D. With Map. 
Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 35. 

Chichester. By the Rev. W. R. W. STEPHENS. With Map and 
Plan of the Cathedral. Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Durham. By the Rev. J. L. Low. With Map and Plan. Fcap. 
8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Hereford. By the Rev. Canon PHILLOTT. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 33. 

Lichfield. By the Rev. W. BERESFORD. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Norwich. By the Rev. A. JESSOPP, D.D. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Oxford. By the Rev. E. MARSHALL, M.A. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Peterborough. By the Rev. G. A. POOLE, M.A. With Map. Fcap. 
8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Salisbury. By the Rev. W. H. JONES. With Map and Plan. Fcap. 
8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Sodor and Man. By A. W. MOORE, M.A. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 35. 

St. Asaph. By the Venerable Archdeacon THOMAS. With Map. 
Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 

St. David's. By the Rev. Canon BEVAN. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. 

Winchester. By the Rev. W. BENHAM, B.D. With Map. Fcap. 
8vo. Cloth boards. 33. 

Worcester. By the Rev. I. GREGORY SMITH, and the Rev. PHIPPS 
ONSLOW. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 35. 6d. 

York. By the Rev. Canon ORNSBY, M.A. With Map. Fcap. 8vo. 
Cloth boards. 33. 6d. 



Promoting Christian Knowledge. 



NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS. 



Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. 6d. each. 

Buddhism. Being a Sketch of the Life and Teachings of Gautama, the 

Buddha. By T. W. RHYS DAVIDS. With Map. 
Buddhism in China. By the Rev. S. BEAL. With Map. 
Christianity and Buddhism : a Comparison and a Contrast. By the 

Rev. T. STERLING BERRY, D.D. 

Confucianism and Taouism. By Professor R. K. DOUGLAS. 
Hinduism. By Sir M. MONIER WILLIAMS. With Map. 
Islam as a Missionary Religion. By CHARLES R. HAINES. as. 
Islam and its Founder. By J. W. H. STOBART. With Map. 
The Coran : its Composition and Teaching and the Testimony it bears 

to the Holy Scriptures. By Sir W. MUIR, K.C.S.I. 
The Religion of the Crescent or Islam; its Strength, its Weakness, 

its Origin, its Influence. By the Rev. W. ST. CLAIR-TISDALL, 

M.A. 43. 



THE FATHERS FOR ENGLISH READERS. 



Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. each. 

Leo the Great. By the Rev. Canon GORE, M. A. 

Gregory the Great. By the Rev. J. BARMBY, B.D. 

Saint Ambrose: his Life, Times, and Teaching. By the Ven. Arch- 
deacon THORNTON, D.D. 

Saint Athanasius: his Life and Times. By the Rev. R. WHELER 
BUSH. 2s. 6d. 

Saint Augustine. By the Rev. EDWARD L. CUTTS, D.D. 

Saint Basil the Great. By the Rev. R. T. SMITH, B.D. 

Saint Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, A.D. 10911153. By the Rev. 
S. J. EALES, M.A., D.C.L. as. 6d. 

Saint Hilary of Poitiers and Saint Martin of Tours. By the Rev. 
J. GIBSON CAZENOVE, D.D. 

Saint Jerome. By the Rev. EDWARD L. CUTTS, D.D. 

Saint John of Damascus. By the Rev. J. H. LUPTON, M.A. 

Saint Patrick ; his Life and Teaching. By the Rev. E. J. NEWELL, 
M.A. as. 6d. 

Synesius of Gyrene, Philosopher and Bishop. By ALICE GARDNER. 

The Apostolic Fathers. By the Rev. Canon SCOTT HOLLAND. 

The Defenders of the Faith; or, the Christian Apologists of the 
SECOND AND THIRD CENTURIES. By the Rev. F. WATSON. 

The Venerable Bede. By the Right Rev. G. F. BROWNE, B.D. 



Publications of the Society for 



THE HOME LIBRARY. 

Crown 8vo. Cloth boards. 3*. 6d. each. 
Black and White. Mission Stories. By H. A. FORDE. 
Charlemagne. By the Rev. E. L. CUTTS, D.D. With Map. 
Constantino the Great. The Union of the Church and State. 

By the Rev. E. L. CUTTS, D.D. 
Great English Churchmen; or, Famous Names in 

ENGLISH CHURCH HISTORY AND LITERATURE. By the late W. 

H. D. ADAMS. 
John Hus. The Commencement of the Resistance to Papal 

Authority on the Part of the Inferior Clergy. By the Rev. A. H. 

WRATISLAW. 
Judaea and her Rulers, from Nebuchadnezzar to Vespasian. 

By M. BRAMSTON. With Map. 
Mazarin. By the late GUSTAVE MASSON. 
Military Religious Orders of the Middle Ages : the 

Hospitallers, the Templars, the Teutonic Knights, and others. 

By the Rev. F. C. WOODHOUSE, M.A. 
Mitslav; or, the Conversion of Pomerania. By the late 

Right Rev. R. MILMAN, D.D. With Map. 
Narcissus : a Tale of Early Christian Times. By the Right Rev. 

W. BOYD CARPENTER, Bishop of Ripon. 
Richelieu. By the late GUSTAVE MASSON. 
Sketches of the Women of Christendom. Dedicated to 

the Women of India. By the late MRS. RUNDLE CHARLES, 

author of "The Chronicles of the Schonberg-Cotta Family." 
The Church in Roman Gaul. By the Rev. R. TRAVERS 

SMITH. With Map. 
The Churchman's Life of Wesley. By R. DENNY URLIN, 

Esq., F.S.S. 
The House of God the Home of Man. By the Rev. 

Canon JELF. 
The Inner Life, as Revealed in the Correspondence of Celebrated 

Christians. Edited by the late Rev. T. ERSKINE. 
The Life of the Soul in the World: its Nature, Needs, 

Dangers, Sorrows, Aids, and Joys. By the Rev. F. C. WOOD- 
HOUSE, M.A. 
The North-African Church. By the late Rev. JULIUS LLOYD, 

M.A. With Map. 
Thoughts and Characters; being Selections from the Writings of 

the late Mrs. RUNDLE CHARLES. 



Promoting Christian Knowledge. 



CHURCH HYMNS. 

Nos. I to 7, in Various Sizes and Bindings, ranging in price from 
id. to 43. 8d. 



Church Hymns, with Tunes. Edited by Sir ARTHUR 
SULLIVAN. Crown 8vo., Fcap. 4to., and Folio (Organ copy), 
in various Bindings, from 2s. to ji. is. 

Common Prayer Book and Church Hymns. Bound in 
One Volume, and in Two Volumes in Cases. Can be had in 
various Sizes and Bindings, from 6d. to 48. 

Common Prayer Book and Church Hymns, with Tunes. 
Brevier, 8vo., Limp paste grain roan, red edges, 6s. 



COMMENTARY ON THE BIBLE. 



Old Testament. Vol. I., containing the Pentateuch. By Various 
Authors. With Maps and Plans. Crown 8vo. Cloth boards, 
red edges, 43. ; half calf, los. ; whole calf, 12s.; half morocco, 12s. 

Old Testament. Vol. II. , containing the Historical Books. Joshua 
to Esther. By Various Authors. With Maps and Plans. Crown 
8vo. Cloth boards, red edges, 45.; half calf, ios.; whole calf, 
123.; half morocco, 12s. 

Old Testament. Vol. III., containing the Poetical Books, Job to 
Song of Solomon. By Various Authors. Crown Svo. Cloth 
boards, red edges, 45.; half calf, ios.; whole calf, I2s. ; half 
morocco, I as. 

Old Testament. Vol. IV., containing the Prophetical Books, Isaiah 
to Malachi. By Various Authors. With two Maps. Cloth boards, 
red edges, 43.; half calf, ios.; whole calf, I2s. ; half morocco, I2s. 

Old Testament. Vol. V., containing the Apocryphal Books. By 
Various Authors. Cloth boards, red edges, 43.; half calf, ios.; 
whole calf, 123. ; half morocco, I2s. 

New Testament. Vol. I., containing the Four Gospels. By the 
Right Rev. W. WALSHAM How, Bishop of Wakefield. With 
Maps and Plans. Crown Svo. Cloth boards, red edges, 45.; half 
calf, ios.; whole calf, 12s. ; half morocco, I2s. 

New Testament. Vol. II., containing the Acts, Epistles, and 
Revelation. By Various Authors. With Map. Crown Svo. 
Cloth boards, red edges, 45.; half calf, ios.; whole calf, I2s ? ; half 
morocco, i2s, 



i o Publications of the Society for 



THE HEATHEN WORLD AND ST. PAUL 



This Series is intended to throw light upon the writings and labours of 
the Apostle of the Gentiles. 

Fcap Svo. Cloth boards. 2s. each. 

Saint Paul in Greece. By the Rev. G. S. DAVIES, M.A., 
Charterhouse, Godalming. With Map. 

Saint Paul in Damascus and Arabia. By the Rev. GEORGE 
RAWLINSON, M,A., Canon of Canterbury. With Map. 

Saint Paul in Asia Minor and at the Syrian Antioch. 
By the late Rev. E. H. PLUMPTRE, D.D. With Map. 

Saint Paul at Rome. By the late Very Rev. Charles MERIVALE, 
D.D., D.C.L. With Map. 



ANCIENT HISTORY FROM THE MONUMENTS. 



This Series of Books is chiefly intended to illustrate the Sacred 
Scriptures by the results of recent Monumental Researches in 
the East. 

Fcap. 8vo. Cloth boards. 2s. each. 

Sinai, from the Fourth Egyptian Dynasty to the Present Day. B." 
the late HENRY S. PALMER. With Map. A New Edition, 
revised throughout by the Rev. Professor SAYCE. 

Babylonia (the History of). By the late GEORGE SMITH. Edited 
and brought up to date by the Rev. Professor SAYCE. 

Assyria, from the Earliest Times to the Fall of Nineveh. By the late 
GEORGE SMITH. 

Persia, from the Earliest Period to the Arab Conquest. By the late 
W. S. W. VAUX, M.A., F.R.S. A New and Revised Edition, 
by the Rev. Professor SAYCE. 



Promoting Christian Knowledge. ti 

NATURAL HISTORY RAMBLES. 

Intended to cover the Natural History of the British Isles in a 
manner suited to the requirements of visitors to the regions 
named. 

Fcap* Svo. with numerous Woodcuts. Cloth Boards. 2s. 6d. each. 
In Search of Minerals. By the late D. T. ANSTED, M.A. 
Lakes and Rivers. By C. O. GROOM NAPIER, F.G.S. 
Lane and Field. By the late Rev. J. G. WOOD, M.A. 
Mountain audiftftoor. By J. E. TAYLOR, Esq., F.L.S. 
Ponds and Ditches. By M. C. COOKE, M.A., LL.D. 
Sea-Shore (The). By Professor P. MARTIN DUNCAN. 
Underground; By J. E. TAYLOR, Esq., F.L.S. 
Woodlands (The). By M. C. COOKE, M.A., LL.D. 



MANUALS OF ELEMENTARY SCIENCE. 

A Set of Elementary Manuals on the principal Branches of Science. 

Fcap. 8vo. Limp cloth, is. each. 
Electricity. By the late FLEEMING JENKIN, F.R.S. 
Physiology. By A. MACALISTER, LL.D., M.D., F.R.S. 
Geology. By the Rev. T. G. BONNEY, M.A., F.G.S. 
Crystallography. By HENRY PALIN GURNEY, M.A. 
Astronomy. By W. H. M. CHRISTIE, M.A., F.R.S. 
Botany. By the late Professor BENTLEY. 

Zoology. By ALFRED NEWTON, M. A., F.R.S. A New Edition. 
Matter and Motion. By the late J. CLERK MAXWELL, M.A. 

Spectroscope and its Work (The). By the late RICHARD A. 
PROCTOR. 



Publications of the Society. 



THE PEOPLE'S LIBRARY. 



Crown Svo. Cloth boards, is. each. 

A Chapter of Science ; or, What is a Law of Nature ? Six Lectures 
to Working Men. By Professor J. STUART, M.P. With 
Diagrams. 

A Six Months' Friend. By HELEN SHIPTON, author of "Chris- 
topher." With several Illustrations. 

British Citizen (The) : his Rights and Privileges. A short History by 
the late J. THOROLD ROGERS, M.P. 

Factors in Life. Three Lectures on Health Food Education. By 
the late Professor SEELEY, F.R.S. 

Guild of Good Life (The). A Narrative of Domestic Health 
and Economy. By Sir B. W. RICHARDSON, M.D., F.R.S. 

Household Health. A Sequel to "The Guild of Good Life.' 
By Sir. B. W. RICHARDSON, M.D., F.R.S. 

Hops and Hop-Pickers. By the Rev. J. Y. STRATTON. With 
several Illustrations, 

Life and "Work among the Navvies. By the Rev. D. W. 

BARRETT, M.A. With several Illustrations. 

The Cottage Next Door. By HELEN SHIPTON. With several 
Illustrations. 

Thrift and Independence. A Word for Working Men. By 
the Rev. W. LEWERY BLACKLEY, M.A. 



SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE. 
LONDON: NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, w.c. ; 

43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C. 



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I 



FACULTY OF MUSIC 
LIBRARY 

DATE DUE 

APR 1 6 200J 

HOURS 
Beginning SEPT. 9 

MON-THURS 8:30-9-45 
FRIDAY 8: 30-5; A 



ML Ell er ton, John 

3186 John Ellerton: being a 

E55 collection of his writings on 

hymnology 



Music